The Ten Dirtiest Foods

Today an article on the Ten Dirtiest Foods You're Eating caught my eye. Alfie is the vigilant one when it comes to food safety at home; the autoimmune disease he suffers from was triggered by a case of food poisoning, so it's not surprising that he doesn't touch leftovers after a day or two. As for me, I like to think I have a cast-iron stomach, so I'm a bit more lax. But I've had enough bouts of food poisoning to know that it's no joke. And there's nothing worse than sitting up with your kid as he throws up everything in his stomach, including water, for half the night. Then spending the other half of the night cleaning the mess up (We still haven't recovered from 3Po's food poisoning on our last night at Disneyland. We think it was the Kids' Meatball Sandwich from Paradise Pier's PCH Grill. Disneyland travelers, take note!!). So now I pay a lot more attention to food safety.

I was expecting to see eggs on the top of the list of dirtiest foods, and I wasn't disappointed. And pretty much everyone knows that raw meat harbors all kinds of bacteria:

#1 Eggs
#6 Chicken
#7 Ground beef
#8 Ground turkey
#9 Raw oysters

When you think of how quickly a dead human decomposes, it's not surprising that all kinds of bacteria grow quickly on dead animals. Face it, eating dead flesh really is gross. I'd be a vegetarian in an instant if I didn't love the taste of meat so much.

But I was definitely unprepared for the other foods on the list:

#2 Peaches. Peaches!! And second on the list! I knew there had to be a reason that the organic peaches at our local farmers' market taste so much better than any other peach on the planet.
#3 Lettuce. Sure, everyone knows you have to wash your salad greens, but who would have thought that pre-washed, prepackaged salad contained all kinds of icky stuff as well? "Triple-washed", they say? Deceivers, all of them!
#4 Melon. Geez, we don't even eat the rind, and it turns out we need to wash and scrub it because of all the bacteria that can hang on to those little bumps and grooves.

#5 Scallions. This is one of the mysteries of life. Why scallions, and not onions? Or chives? Aren't they all bulb-like vegetables that grow in the ground?

#10 Cold cuts. Great. There goes 4 out of 5 lunches that I prepare for Alfie and the kids. Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, please, clean your meat slicers regularly! It's a good thing my kids like mustard, because apparently mustard might help kill off any pathogens found in the cold cuts.

There seems to be death lurking in every kind of fresh food. Maybe we'd better switch to cheez whiz on white bread. No germ would survive in all the chemicals that go into those foods.
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