So, the federal government has been shut down. You read a New York Times story about Congress and the effects of the shutdown and peruse the sarcastic status updates on your Facebook news feed, but then…well, you’ve got that paper due tomorrow and you really need to start putting more effort into your extracurriculars, and isn’t Homecoming this weekend?
While you are doing you, many other people are no longer performing their usual functions, including roughly forty-five percent of the Food and Drug Administration’s food inspectors. These inspectors usually check a small sampling of all domestic and imported food products (except meat and poultry, which fall under USDA supervision), but it’s the imported foods we should be most concerned about since they spend extra time traveling and might not be as strictly regulated to begin with.
Basically, sometimes candy has too much lead in it and pomegranate seeds are infected with hepatitis A, and without inspection it becomes that much more likely that contamination will go undiscovered.
Here’s a list compiled by the Center for Science in the Public Interest of the ten “riskiest” foods (formerly) regulated by the FDA.
Leafy greens: 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness
Eggs: 352 outbreaks involving 11,163 reported cases of illness
Tuna: 268 outbreaks involving 2341 reported cases of illness
Oysters: 132 outbreaks involving 3409 reported cases of illness
Potatoes: 108 outbreaks involving 3659 reported cases of illness
Cheese: 83 outbreaks involving 2761 reported cases of illness
Ice Cream: 74 outbreaks involving 2594 reported cases of illness
Tomatoes: 31 outbreaks involving 3292 reported cases of illness
Sprouts: 31 outbreaks involving 2022 reported cases of illness
Berries: 25 outbreaks involving 3397 reported cases of illness
My grand plan for this post-apocalyptic world is to continue eating these foods only if I know they were produced in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Disease is real, y’all, and any action that will decrease my odds of hepatitis A is a good action. Now watch me die of sushi withdrawal.
Check out Buzzfeed for one of the most informative articles on this topic so far. (Who knew, right?)