Everyone knows undercooked meat can be a risky proposition. For most Americans, a case of foodborne illness is a mild case of nausea or diarrhea that passes in a few days. Few of the 48 million people who are infected each year from tainted foods seek medical attention. But about 128,000 Americans go to the hospital to seek treatment for a potentially deadly infection caused by Salmonella, E. coli or other pathogen. And every year, about 3,000 die.
We decided to analyze outbreak data to answer the question: What are the riskiest -- and the safest -- meat and poultry products? Which foods are most likely to make us sick and cause the most severe cases of illness?
Our findings may surprise you. If you choose to eat meat or poultry -- and there are nutritional and ecological reasons why you might not -- there are things you can do to minimize your risk. And for some of these, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meat and poultry producers, and restaurateurs could be doing more to ensure that these foods are safe to eat. Our complete findings are here.
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