• United States



Foodbourne Illness: Hold On to Your Lunch

Dec 20, 20072 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Eating out in some states can be hazardous to your health

Employees who spend a lot of time on the road face a common security threat that gets short shrift in the travel safety and security seminars: food poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 76 million Americans get sick from food each year, and from 1998 to 2004, half of the outbreaks of foodborne illness reported to the government were traced to restaurants. Because restaurant workers tend to be young and are often poorly trained in food preparation and safety procedures, restaurant diners are at particular risk of contracting foodborne diseases. reviewed the CDC’s most recent statistics (2005) on foodborne illness caused by restaurant food and found six states in particular where dining out can be hazardous to your health.

#1 Florida. Home of the all-you can-eat buffet, Florida restaurants were responsible for making more than 300 people sick in 77 separate outbreaks of food poisoning. The leading culprits were seafood and buffets.

#2 California. Sometimes there’s a price to pay for trying to eat healthy. Raw vegetables were the main culprits of 62 outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.

#3 Ohio. Ohio had 38 outbreaks of restaurant food poisoning. In cases where the origin was identified, the most common problems were with raw vegetables and chicken.

#4 Michigan. Michigan had 35 cases of restaurant patrons getting sick. The leading cause was chicken.

#5 New York. With all those restaurants, it’s perhaps surprising that New York didn’t fare worse, but it had 31 cases of patrons falling ill. Seafood was the leading cause.

#6 Minnesota. With 22 food poisoning cases, Minnesota also led the nation in outbreaks of Norovirus, a rather yucky stomach flu.