As food safety concerns continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, United States health officials are warning consumers to avoid certain foods. Health officials say there are a variety of reasons why certain foods should be avoided, including foodborne illness and lax food safety oversight.
So what foods should you avoid?
Foods to Avoid due to Food Safety Concerns
Based on reports and recalls, here is a look at the foods you may want to stay away from in order to keep your family safe and healthy.
Lakeside Refrigerated Services Ground Beef
New Jersey-based Lakeside Refrigerated Services recalled almost 43,000 pounds of ground beef products in June 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the ground beef may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. The ground beef was shipped to retail stores nationwide.
E. coli 0157:H7 is a strain of E. coli that is potentially deadly. It causes dehydration, abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. Severe cases can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). E. coli 0157:H7 is the most common strain found in the U.S.
La Bodega Meat Products
Texas-based La Bodega Meat recalled over 83,000 pounds of raw beef products because they were not inspected. The products were not presented for import re-inspection, the FSIS says. The products include flank steak, boneless ribeye roll, fresh boneless brisket, eye of round, and flap meat. They are available to consumers in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.
The FSIS urges consumers not to eat these products. Without inspection, the FSIS cannot guarantee that the food is safe and free from bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. Consumers are urged to throw the meat away.
Fresh Express Bagged Garden Salads
Fresh Express recalled bagged salads due to a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora. The bagged salads subject to the recall include iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage. Packages include Fresh Express brand, but also store brands including:
- Giant Eagle
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate whether other brands or products could also be contaminated. The recalled products are available to consumers in several states. For a full list of the products in this recall, take a look at the FDA Company Announcement.
Cyclospora is a parasite that often lives on fresh produce. The parasite causes an infection called cyclosporiasis. Around a week after exposure, someone infected with Cyclospora may experience symptoms including fever, gas, nausea, cramps, diarrhea (sometimes explosive) and flu-like symptoms.
Food Safety Information for Consumers
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have been increasingly concerned about food safety. The CDC notes that foodborne illnesses are on the rise, but they do not believe there is a link to COVID-19. But with a lack of inspections and oversight, could food safety concerns like those above have a link to the pandemic? Or is food safety in the U.S. simply not as much of a concern at the present time?
In May, Bad Food Recall reported that the USDA is under pressure from consumers and health and safety advocates. A sudden lack of food product recalls has many questioning whether inspections and oversight are occurring less frequently. There is concern not only about regulatory agencies, but also about the practices within manufacturing or processing facilities.
Many manufacturers, processors and packaging facilities are working with staffing shortages or temporary closures. These pressures could result in a lack of proper safety procedures and inspections inside these facilities.
No matter what the reasoning is, the fact of the matter is that food safety seems to be a growing concern in the U.S. Foodborne illnesses continue to plague Americans at alarming rates. At a time when health and safety is at the forefront of every headline, we must not forget to protect consumers at fundamental levels.
Get More Information
If you have questions or concerns about food safety, browse our website. Here you will find helpful information about foodborne illnesses, current recalls and recent news. If you are battling an illness related to a recalled food product, contact Bad Food Recall to speak with one of our legal professionals.