The Number One Food That Causes Food Poisoning

Most food-borne diseases between 2009 and 2015 were caused by something that's a dinner staple.


It seems we can’t go more than a week without hearing about the latest recall—but that might be a good thing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) constantly tracks outbreaks and identifies what causes food poisoning to help keep people safe.

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The CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS) collects data on foodborne illness outbreaks (“outbreaks” are when two or more people have a similar illness resulting from eating a common food). Between 2009 and 2015, there were 5,760 outbreaks reported, which resulted in more than 100,000 illnesses.

What causes food poisoning?

The food category responsible for the most outbreaks is chicken. Chicken? That’s right. Between 2009 and 2015, chicken was responsible for 3,114 outbreak-related illnesses, or 12 percent of all food poisoning cases. These are the 8 signs of food poisoning you need to look out for.

It’s a nutritious and healthy protein that’s perfect for dinner. (Here’s the proof!) It’s so easy and delicious that Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. Because we eat, and handle, so much chicken, there’s a greater chance of cross-contamination between raw and undercooked chicken and other foods.

How to protect your family

It’s important to make sure your chicken is handled safely and cooked thoroughly because undercooked chicken often contains illness-causing bacteria (including salmonella). The CDC makes the following recommendations:

You should also avoid these 8 common mistakes you might be making with raw chicken. But chicken isn’t the only culprit. Here are 13 other surprising foods that could give you food poisoning.

Originally Published on Taste of Home