August 31, 2013 Our story on the food safety risks posed by rinsing raw birds — a step advocated by many chefs and cookbooks — inflamed passions and prompted many questions. Here, we tackle some of your most frequently raised concerns.
Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens.
August 29, 2013 Spices may add more than flavor to your food: Some harbor dangerous bacteria. Contamination has caused big outbreaks in the United States, and the FDA is looking into how to reduce the risk.
Julia Child poses with "the chicken sisters" before an episode of The French Chef in which she teaches us how to roast a bird.
Courtesy of Paul Child/PBS
August 23, 2013 The doyenne of TV chefs imparted much wisdom to American cooks, but one piece of Child's advice you should ignore is to wash your raw poultry before cooking. It spreads germs. Everywhere. Yet studies suggest 90 percent of Americans do it, so food safety researchers are launching a campaign to squash the habit.
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The label for the berry blend recalled in June because of pomegranates linked to a hepatitis A outbreak.
Food and Drug Administration
August 1, 2013 The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a plan to try and prevent American food companies from importing contaminated produce from abroad. The case of the poisoned pomegranates from Turkey shows that our safety systems for imported food, however helpful, are not foolproof.
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July 26, 2013 A rare parasite has sickened at least 315 people across 14 states, health officials said. The culprit is cyclospora, a food-borne bug that causes wicked diarrhea. People typically catch the parasite from contaminated produce, but the source of this outbreak is still unknown.
A fruit thought by some to be what Eve used to tempt Adam has been grown in the Middle East for centuries.
July 3, 2013 People usually don't worry about hepatitis A in fruit, but an outbreak caused by Turkish pomegranates has sickened 136 people so far. The illnesses highlight how U.S. reliance on imported fruit and vegetables creates novel health risks. New federal regulations in the works are designed to reduce that risk.
June 11, 2013 The mechanical process the meat industry uses to tenderize tough muscle fibers can also introduce dangerous pathogens into beef cuts. The thinking behind the proposed new labels: If you know your cut of meat has been mechanically tenderized, you'll be inclined to cook it a little longer.
Frozen berries have been implicated in a hepatitis A outbreak.
June 5, 2013 Consumers don't have good tools for getting the hepatitis A out of frozen berries, aside from cooking them. Good hygiene by pickers and processors remains the best protection.
A woman wearing a mask rides past a KFC restaurant in Shanghai last month. Food scares and the bird flu haven't stopped many chicken lovers in the city from visiting KFC and other restaurants.
Aly Song/Reuters /Landov
May 8, 2013 A month after dead pigs washed ashore in a Shanghai river, the city got an even more serious meat problem: A new bird flu appeared at poultry markets. But even a recent rat meat scandal hasn't kept Shanghai's omnivores from enjoying KFC and Kung Pao Chicken.
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Salmonella and other pathogens can be in pet food, not just people food.
April 15, 2013 When a food-safety student found out her dog's food was being recalled for possible contamination with salmonella, she learned a few things about how germs travel between critters and their humans.
The process that turns this beer crystal clear also may impart trace amounts of arsenic.
April 9, 2013 Arsenic in beer doesn't sound like a good idea, even if it's due to a centuries-old filtering process. A new study says filtering beer with diatomaceous earth could boost levels of arsenic. But it's not clear whether this poses a health risk.
The NPR Science Desk freezer: now we know we can't presume it's germ-free.
Daniel M.N. Turner/NPR
April 5, 2013 An outbreak of E. coli in frozen pizza, cheesesteaks, and other foods makes it clear: Just because the freezer's frosty doesn't mean it can kill microbes that cause food-borne illness.
You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
March 28, 2013 Salad is not just a food; it's home to a flourishing community of mostly benign microbes. A new inventory finds surprising differences in the bacteria growing on popular fruits and vegetables.
Spices are common targets for food fraudsters.
March 26, 2013 Spices colored with carcinogens? Milk that "never saw a cow"? A free global database opens the door on the many ways that people adulterate or fake food.
The great horse meat scandal infographic.
via The Australian Institute of Food Safety
February 28, 2013 The horse meat scandal might be playing out in Europe, but China is the biggest producer in the global market for horseflesh, a new infographic reveals.
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