Food safety is crucial, particularly in light of recent recalls, like the one from American Foods Group, involving over 58,000 pounds of raw ground beef due to potential E. coli contamination. This highlights the critical need to prevent foodborne illnesses. According to Dr. Leana Wen, an expert in health policy, food poisoning, or foodborne infection, occurs when harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, or parasites contaminate what we eat or drink, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In the United States, Norovirus is the most frequent cause of these infections, followed by bacteria like salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, and E. coli, as well as parasites like toxoplasma.

Dr. Wen urges immediate medical attention for persistent symptoms, especially if they worsen. She highlights recent bacteria: E. coli and Vibrio vulnificus. E. coli, from human and animal intestines, can cause severe issues. Vibrio vulnificus, often in undercooked shellfish, can lead to serious infections. Dr. Wen stresses proper food prep, including washing fruits and vegetables and using meat thermometers. She advises against cross-contamination and emphasizes separate utensils for raw and cooked foods. Safe grilling involves maintaining proper temperatures and ensuring clean hands. Lastly, Dr. Wen recommends quickly refrigerating leftovers and being extra cautious with vulnerable groups.