The World Health Organization estimates that about 200 diseases can be transmitted through food. Most of them can be avoided if you choose, store and cook food. But some foods are almost always at risk, while others are safer for the buyer.
Which products are a potential threat and which are not? MedAboutMe has compiled a “Black List” of food products that consumers must be extremely careful when purchasing.
Food contamination can occur at various stages of production – during cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage, packaging and more. The appearance of diseases in humans is provoked by bacteria and viruses, chemicals that enter food or water at any stage before it is on the buyer's table. Lovers of savory steaks are often the victims of salmonella, brucellosis and other diseases caused by the use of low-quality meat. This category of products during checks is most often infected with salmonella, listeria, E. coli. Campylobacteria, staphylococci, parasite larvae, and tapeworms need to be afraid. And also – antibiotics, hormones that are used in growing animals.
To reduce the risk of infection, store raw meat and minced meat separately from other products. To cut them, it is better to have a separate board, dishes and knives. Thorough heat treatment will help to destroy almost all dangerous microorganisms. The boiling point of fries and soups with meat should not be lower than 70 degrees Celsius. Ready meat dishes can not be stored at room temperature for more than two hours, but you do not need to leave them in the refrigerator for a long time.
Examination of Roskontrol showed that ready-made stuffing can be life-threatening. The organization tested products of popular brands in Russia for microbiological indicators. In 4 of 6 samples, pathogenic bacteria – Listeria, Salmonella – were found. And in some, there are also bacteria of the group of E. coli, which are especially dangerous for children. However, safer samples did not seem suitable for use by experts: traces of an antimicrobial preparation were found in them.
Sausages and sausages
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Often the dubious composition and the almost complete lack of benefit does not scare away those who want to enjoy a sandwich with a Doctor's or a hot dog. Sausages and sausages – a popular category of goods that allows you to save time in the formation of the diet. But this product is one of the most dangerous to human health. This is because sausage is rarely subjected to heat treatment. And this means that it can be a source of serious threats. Even the high cost of sausages or sausages, the availability of information on the package on compliance with GOST and the normal composition are not a guarantee that these foods will not cause an eating disorder and other problems.
An examination conducted by Roskontrol showed that when buying sausages, one should not be afraid of the presence of soy, preservatives or a large amount of fat in the composition, but of pathogenic bacteria. Some of the tested samples could not boast compliance with standards for microbiological indicators. Therefore, sausages and sausages, sausages should be thermally processed before use. And if possible – to reduce the consumption of such products or abandon them altogether.
According to the World Health Organization, every year about 600 million people worldwide become ill after eating unsafe foods. Think about this number! We are talking about almost one in ten inhabitants of the planet. Up to 40% of these cases occur in children under 5 years of age.
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Milk and dairy products are consumer goods. They are recommended for children and adults. Therefore, the quality of this product should not be doubted. However, in practice, it is milk that often causes poisoning and other ailments. First of all, experts recommend fearing the "raw" fluid received from cows. Only ultra-pasteurized milk can be called safe and at the same time useful. It undergoes a special treatment that preserves vitamins, but destroys pathogenic microflora.
What are the dangers of fresh and unpaired milk? As in other products of animal origin, bacteria of the Escherichia coli group, Listeria and other microorganisms may be present in it. Including yeast, mold. Also, such products may contain antibiotics, preservatives, vegetable fats and other unsafe ingredients. To reduce health risks, you should choose only ultra-pasteurized milk and store it in the refrigerator. Dairy products are undesirable to use after the expiration date. When buying them, you must carefully study the composition, it should not be anything superfluous. For example, milk fat substitutes.
Like meat, raw fish often causes poisoning and other ailments. Even slightly salted products, fish preserves can not meet safety standards. What can we say about live fish caught in open water or farmed. Such products may contain elements that are toxic to human health. These are methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls. The least safe large fish are shark, tuna, swordfish, Atlantic bigheads, etc. It is undesirable to get involved in Atlantic flounder, royal mackerel, eel, striped perch.
The method of freezing fish in production also matters. It is wiser to buy chilled or fresh-frozen products. However, this is not always possible. Properly frozen fish may not be inferior in taste and quality to fresh fish, when it comes to the product of primary freezing, made in compliance with the technology. The best method is cryogenic freezing. But Roskontrol advises against the use of secondary freezing products. With this treatment, pre-thawed carcasses are saturated with chemicals – food polyphosphates. This category of stabilizers remains in the fish after thawing.
Any fish must be cooked, fried or baked, stewed to reduce the risk of infection. However, cooking river fish, for example, in the preparation of fish soup, is not a guarantee that the heat treatment will make it safe. Scientists from the University of Seville have found that with this cooking method, only 18% of life-threatening cyanotoxins are destroyed. The remaining proportion of harmful substances goes into the broth.
Seafood and Caviar
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Like fish, marine life and caviar can be sources of foodborne threats. Raw seafood is especially unhealthy. Do not enjoy these delicacies even if they are bought in a trusted store. Due to climate change, the inhabitants of the sea become a favorable environment for the multiplication of bacteria of various species. To make harmless both fish and seafood for their subsequent use in raw form will partially help freezing. It is capable of killing parasites, but it cannot destroy absolutely all microorganisms. To reduce risks, do not buy ready-made seafood, especially those that are stored next to raw ones. Do not buy products in open, damaged packaging, with frozen ice or hoarfrost. And you can avoid the ingress of mercury into the body by eating seafood and fish no more than 2 times a week, for a total of up to 350 g.
Red caviar also often falls into the Black List. This product can be not only tasteless and poor-quality, but also dangerous. In addition to preservatives, the samples that participated in the Roskontrol examination did not meet microbiological safety standards. Some types of caviar contained mold, yeast, and various microorganisms.
Pre-washed vegetables and fruits
Vegetables, fruits and berries become unsafe due to the use of pesticides and other chemicals. However, it is easier to recognize the gifts of nature grown not in the old way than milk or meat infected with the same Escherichia coli. Such fruits are perfectly smooth, glossy, bright, without any flaws. It is necessary to avoid fruits and vegetables with a damaged surface due to the possible penetration of microbes into the pulp. But in general, experts always recommend eating seasonal plant foods, as it is less likely to include fruits grown with pesticides in the diet.
Even if the appearance of the food is not a concern, carrots or cabbage, apples and asparagus can become a health hazard. This applies to cases when the fruits are thoroughly washed before sale. The fact is that excess moisture during storage of vegetables and fruits contributes to the active reproduction of pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, do not be tempted to save time when preparing vegetables for salad. All gifts of nature cannot be washed up to the moment of eating. Sliced fruits are especially dangerous – no one can guarantee that microbes were not introduced during their processing.
There are types of plant products that practically do not absorb pesticides. This category includes cabbage, avocado, mango, eggplant, papaya, grapefruit, onions, peas, kiwi, pineapple, asparagus. Corn can also be considered harmless if it is not modified.
Salmonella epidemics are not uncommon today. In 2018, an outbreak of the disease affecting the digestive tract and other organs occurred in the United States. To reduce risks for the population, the manufacturing company was forced to recall more than 200 million eggs. It will not be possible to recognize infected products upon purchase by appearance, but it is necessary to reject eggs when choosing, even with insignificant cracks in the shell and with too dirty a shell. The latter may indicate a violation of sanitary standards in the workplace.
Raw eggs can cause various ailments. They need to be consumed only after heat treatment. Moreover, experts recommend abandoning soft-boiled eggs. It is safer to boil them hard or to fry. The shell must be washed thoroughly, and the working surfaces of the kitchen should be treated after contact with the raw shell of “chicken caviar”. Avoid dishes that do not have heat-treated eggs. For example, cheesecakes.
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Food, a symbol of a healthy diet, can lead to foodborne diseases. Germinated wheat grains can contain many pathogenic bacteria, including bacteria of the Escherichia coli group and Salmonella. The risk of consuming seedlings also increases because this food is traditionally eaten raw. Finally, the possible use of chemicals for treating grains does not add to the positive.
Eating sprouted grains purchased at a store can be a health risk. Therefore, growing them for nutrition is better on their own. You can also replace wheat seedlings with raw seeds. By nutritional value, the same flax or pumpkin seeds may not be inferior to sprouts.
WHO estimates that around 550 million people suffer from diarrheal diseases each year.
Kristina Kubikova, nutritionist, personal trainer, master of sports in powerlifting
I would like to tell more not about products that can be potentially hazardous to health. Violations of production and storage are easily encountered in relation to almost any product, whether it is raw meat, meat products, seafood or milk, vegetables, and various canned goods. I want to draw attention to those common foods that are very popular and at the same time we often do not classify them as risk. This group is worth highlighting:
Monosodium glutamate. A food supplement can cause a strong dependence of the body. I would not recommend buying this seasoning or products with its addition in principle. I advise you to use natural seasonings in cooking, which help to improve metabolism and bring benefits.
Trans fats. If we consider specifically products sold in stores, we can cite as an example butter with a fat content of less than 72%, in which trans fats are present. They are dangerous in that they contribute to the development of cancerous tumors.
Sweet soda. It has a lot of sugar. Pay attention to how often obese children are found. Naturally, if sugar is not declared in the composition, then sugar substitutes replace it. The same aspartame, harmful to us, phosphoric acid, which kills the beneficial intestinal microflora, preservatives that cause metabolic disorders. As a result, carbonated sugary drinks lead to obesity.
What to look for when buying certain products? First of all, it is nutritional value, composition and shelf life. Be sure to look at the expiration date when buying. The smaller it is, the better, especially when it comes to meat, fish, dairy products.
Try to buy products with the most “pure”, natural composition. But here there is a point that quite often consumers are faced with manufacturers' tricks. You do not need to believe the packages that say "Without GMOs", "Without sugar", "0% fat". If you study the composition, then instead of sugar in the product may be sweeteners, and in the same juice marked "0% fat" fat a priori and can not be.
Learn to read the compositions – they should be as simple as possible, understandable. No need to focus on advertising, choose fitness products, consider them initially useful. It is important to refuse products whose composition does not coincide with beautiful inscriptions on the package.
Irina Terentyeva, instructor of the fitness club
To high-risk products, I include those that have a 50/50 sweet to fat ratio, namely cheesecakes, ice cream, all kinds of cakes, sweets, cakes, cookies and waffles. Why? It's like a time bomb. Products with a similar composition are addictive. Over time, the brain requires increasing doses. As a result, calorie content increases, because one ice cream is already not enough, and a portion of cheesecake per tooth. And now, after a year or two, extra pounds appear. That is, all the extra cakes go into fat at a faster rate, due to an increase in their number in the diet. A large percentage of subcutaneous fat, in turn, is a provocateur of the appearance and development of the following problems:
Degeneration of the joints.
General deterioration of health.
And even depression.
And the more often sweet + fatty appears in the diet during the day – the more you sit down on the addiction needle "sweet swing".
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