Food Safety Tips May Save Lives


Thursday, October 13th 2011, 11:26 pm
By: News 9


Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Listeria-tainted cantaloupes are now to blame for 23 deaths across the U.S. It's the latest in a string of foods blamed for spreading deadly diseases.

The cantaloupes are by far the deadliest outbreak of a food-borne illness in more than two decades, but there are still foods you shouldn't forget about. We looked at a list of the 10 most high-profile food-borne illness outbreaks since 2001.

In the past decade ten different foods have caused thousands of illnesses and at least 50 deaths. Charleston's Steakhouse in Edmond requires its cooks to have food handlers licenses to avoid passing germs to customers.  Food handler Ed West says people at home may want to adopt the same safety practices.

"Anything that you can eat raw that you don't prep like celery, broccoli, spinach leaves you have to wash," West said.

In fact, the foods mostly found in the fresh veggie section have caused serious sicknesses and even death in the past decade from deli meat to celery.

"You can't wash it too much. No one says you shouldn't take two showers a day so wash your veggies," West said.

Soaking fruit and veggies in water below 40 degrees and adding ice ensures bacteria goes down the drain.

The elderly or people with weakened immune systems have the most cause for concern. As a rule of thumb, wash everything, even things with a peel like oranges and limes.

To see the list of foods that cause concern click:  http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/28/health/cantaloupe-deaths/index.html