Six Primary Causes of Foodborne Diseases

Six Primary Causes of Foodborne Diseases

Bill Marler, a well-known food safety attorney in the US, has recently published an article revealing six food items that he avoids to save himself from foodborne diseases. Marler is currently representing a case against Chipotle regarding the E. coli issue. “I usually don’t go to a lawyer for medical advice, but actually, in this case I think he had some good ideas here,” said Dr. Roshini Raj, an Associate Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The first item on Marley’s list of avoidance is unpasteurized raw milk and packaged juices. These are likely to be infected with bacteria, viruses and parasites. He recalled that the 1996 E. coli outbreak that was related to unpasteurized apple juice consumption was among his initial cases. Second on his list are raw sprouts, like alfalfa, mung bean, clover and radish sprouts that have the chances of containing E. coli bacteria or salmonella. Raw sprout consumption has been associated with over 30 foodborne outbreaks since the middle of 1990s in the US.

Thirdly, the consumption of rare meat is what Marler avoids since according to the CDC recommendations, E. coli and salmonella as well as other pathogens get destroyed only when the meat is internally cooked at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, poultry products must be cooked at a temperature of 165 degrees to kill these pathogens. The fourth food item is prewashed or precut fruits and vegetables because they are infected. The fifth one on Marler’s list is raw or undercooked eggs because they are likely to contain salmonella.


The last one is raw oysters and other raw shellfish because they absorb bacteria and other harmful pathogens from water. Dr. Raj said that most of the food items listed by Marler are the primary causes of food poisoning cases. She suggested that these foods should not be completely avoided but one should be careful while consuming them.


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