Step Away From Foodborne Illness
Eating less meat is good for your health and the health of the environment, which may be one reason Meatless Monday is catching on so quickly in the US and around the world. The recent recall of ground turkey due to possible salmonella contamination is alarming. If you participate in Meatless Monday, you may still enjoy meat-based meals throughout the week. Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from foodborne illnesses with simple food prep steps to always follow.
You've probably heard the news about the recent salmonella outbreak (and product recall) linked to ground turkey. The events surrounding the outbreak and recall are scary, but you don't have to swear off meat because of it. However, your efforts to keep informed and educated about food preparation -- particularly for meats -- can help you stay healthy and safe.
Reduce your consumption
Studies show that cutting back on meat is good for your health and the health of the environment. For example, replacing saturated fat-rich foods (like meat) with foods rich in polyunsaturated fats (nuts, vegetable oil, seeds) can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also reduce water usage. Consider that anywhere from 1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into producing a pound of beef vs. 220 gallons of water for a pound of tofu.
The deets about foodborne diseases
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), foodborne illnesses take hold after eating food (or drinks) contaminated with bacteria (like salmonella), parasites or viruses, but can also be cased by harmful chemicals if they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, each year, roughly 1 out of 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick from foodborne diseases, 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from foodborne diseases.
Steps to stay safe in your kitchen
When you do eat meat take steps at home to help ensure it's a safe experience. The following tips from the National Institute of Health (NIH) are just some ways to help prevent harmful bacteria from growing in food. Read the NIH's entire list.
Sometimes, even your best efforts are not enough to prevent illness. Consider the Mayo Clinic's list of possible signs of salmonella infection (which can last from four to seven days):
Cutting back on red and processed meats can help curb several health concerns affecting many people today. With so many delicious meat-free meal options available, cutting back is the easy part!
Try these meat-free meals
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