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The Top 19 Things Food-Safety Experts Won't Eat

July 18, 2016

Find out what foods top nutrition-safety experts around the country just won't touch. You may be surprised at what made the list.

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The Food Safety Diet

Food safety experts live and breathe the words they preach (I call it the "food safety diet"). They have seen cases and read studies on what happens after eating high-risk foods and know the gruesome details of what happens when you eat tainted food. I asked nine other food-safety experts (besides myself!) which food they just won't touch. You’ll be surprised at what made the list.

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Buffets

"While food regulations have become more stringent and there are a plethora of policies in place for safe food handling and preparation practices, there are too many opportunities for mishandling for my liking. There are many chances for cross-contamination, especially when customers serve themselves. This can occur if a serving utensil ends up floating in a serving dish and anyone who touched the utensil previously had unclean hands. Improper temperature holding and insufficient cooling methods can also lead to the growth of unwanted bacteria." — Emily Ellis, MSc, quality assurance and research & development at Pellman Foods, Inc.

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Sliced Lemons

"Many bars and restaurants serve a wedge of lemon or lime on the side of sodas, water or beer. I always ask for mine without it, or pull it off right away. I do not know who handled the lemon and if they washed their hands properly before slicing it." , M.S., R.D., nutrition expert and dietitian Toby Amidor author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen

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Raw Sprouts

"Despite the health benefits, I won't eat raw sprouts. I stay clear of any food with raw sprouts in it, because they have the propensity to cause foodborne illness just by their nature and also by how they are grown. Sprouts have been documented as being hosts for many foodborne-illness pathogens. The best conditions for sprouting also support the rapid growth of foodborne-illness pathogens if present in the seed. Recent foodborne-illness outbreaks associated with raw-sprouts consumption have included E. coli 0157, Salmonella and Listeria. I will consider eating sprouts, however, only if well cooked." — Daniel E. Archer, MPH, REHS, senior manager of food safety, workplace safety and environmental compliance for Stanford University Residence & Dining Enterprises (R&DE)

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