Over the pasts few months, I've experienced and witnessed those around me experiencing more (and more severe) food poisoning than in all the rest of my 30-year life. This is without obvious explanation, such as eating out more or changes in overall health. Today, I got some chicken thighs that smelled strongly of rotten eggs, which is a sign of potential salmonella poisoning. In my quick internet research on whether the chicken was safe to eat (I decided not to take the chance), I came across some pretty repulsive statistics about foodborne illnesses, including indicators that some foods (like chicken) are becoming increasingly bacteria-laden and risky. I'm not an expert in the field, but I do work with scientific data and my reading of the (admittedly imperfect and incomplete) information from the CDC and USDA is making me rethink my eating habits. In addition to the information about the prevalence of increasingly strong and anti-biotic resistant bacteria, the lack of serious regulations or enforcement is troubling.
I'm not normally uptight about food safety. I use eggs up to a month after the date on the carton and rely on my nose, rather than packaging, to let me know when dairy is unusable (none of these habits have resulting in me getting sick, oddly enough). I know a lot of people who are nuts about food safety, and the food they eat always looks gross and overcooked. I want some foodie opinions. Would you consider changing your families diet to decrease your risk of foodborne illnesses? I know I can't eliminate all risks from our lives and I dont want to waste a lot a time trying. I am considering minimizing or eliminating high-risk foods, like chicken, and possibly trying to stay on top of recalls/outbreaks (haven't ever done with this in the past). Do any of you pay attention to these things when deciding what to eat? Where would you draw the line?