Ensuring food safety is important, especially after incidents like the recent recall of 58,000 pounds of raw ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination by American Foods Group. This highlights the importance of preventing illnesses from unsafe food. According to health expert Dr. Leana Wen, food poisoning occurs when harmful tiny organisms like bacteria, viruses, or parasites enter what we consume, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. In the United States, common causes are Norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, and E. coli bacteria, as well as parasites like toxoplasma.

Dr. Wen emphasizes seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen. She stresses awareness of two specific bacteria: E. coli, originating from human and animal intestines, and Vibrio vulnificus, commonly found in undercooked shellfish and leading to severe infections. Dr. Wen offers practical food preparation tips, like washing fruits and vegetables, using a meat thermometer, and preventing cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. For grilling, maintain proper heat and practice hand hygiene. Swiftly refrigerate leftovers and exercise extra caution if you belong to a group more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.