Monday, December 11, 2006

Story of the year: food poisoning?

Food poisoning is back. This time it's green onions in Mexican fast food restaurants. In Iowa, 14 are hospitalized after eating at Taco Johns. Across four other states, 47 people were sickened after eating at Taco Bell. In all cases, green onions are suspected of transferring E Coli to unsuspecting diners.

If you recall, 3 people and 200 people got sick after eating tainted spinach during the summer. Taken together, these outbreaks have stolen national headlines. So this year seems to be shaping up as the year of food poisoning. And that comes as something as a surprise to me, considering it's the 100 year anniversary of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle."

While Sinclair focused on the horrors of the meat packing industry, it appears as though produce is the big monster this year. Produce? Fresh, innocent, leafy greens? Yup. In fact, I heard on the radio this weekend that most food poisoning comes from produce. And the type of E. coli that hit diners at Taco Bell last week actually can not be removed by simply washing the green onions. They need to be cooked.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.