The Top Ten Dirtiest Foods - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/29/04-Longview

The Top Ten Dirtiest Foods

The CDC says 5,000 people die from food poisoning every year. Some foods are more dangerous than others. Recently Men's Health magazine identified the top ten dirtiest foods.

Americans enjoy a wide array of foods at the grocery store. But everyday these foods turn into food poisoning for 200,000 Americans. "If you're elderly people or very young you may be more susceptible to various types of bacteria," says Buck Files with the Longview Health department.

The top three on the dirty list is chicken, ground beef and ground turkey.

"I have gotten some bad meat before. I'm always careful with my meat," says Connie Jimmerson.

Buck says wash your meat and make sure you cook it thoroughly. But cross contamination is also a risk. "You also want to make sure that you properly clean and sanitize your cutting boards and knives."

Number 4 on the list is raw oysters, #5 - eggs. And this may surprise you- #6 is cantaloupe. Some shoppers though say they're already being careful with their fruit. "I always peel the cantaloupe. Sometimes I peel the peaches," says Becky Kohn.

Ahhh peaches, those are number 7 on the dirty list.

"You may buy them off the street or in the produce counter but you can't be sure what they're exposed to," says Buck.

Number 8 on the list may be another surprise- prepackaged lettuce. Experts say you should always wash it thoroughly, even though the package clearly states it's pre-washed and ready to eat. "Oh I didn't know that. That's interesting," says Becky.

Number 9 is cold cuts. Experts say you should ask the clerk to clean the deli slicer first. And #10 - scallions.

Experts say though these foods do pose a greater risk, with proper preparation they can still be yours to enjoy.

When it comes to ground beef here's a little tip that can help you fight germs. Experts suggest adding a little fresh oregano to your meat while you cook it. Oregano has tested as one of the best herbs at wiping out e-coli. Just add 1 tablespoon per pound of ground meat.

Amy Tatum reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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