BUENA VISTA – Bill Marler, the most prominent food-poisoning attorney in the country, had been scheduled to speak at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista for some time.
It was a coincidence that his visit fell on Oct. 7, in the middle of the worst food-borne illness outbreak the United States has seen in 25 years. But if you’ll pardon my pessimism, I’d be surprised if the man could find an outbreak-free window at any time.
Lately, listeria-contaminated cantaloupe has sickened 116 people and killed 23 – mostly folks over the age of 60 who probably felt good about having fresh fruit in their diets. I mean, it isn’t as if they were eating an undercooked hamburger or raw cookie dough.
But lately, that doesn’t seem to matter. In the past 10 years, people have died or gotten sick after eating seemingly innocuous foods such as green onions, tomatoes, papayas, fresh spinach and nuts. The Food and Drug Administration has gone so far as to say it isn’t even worth the risk anymore to eat raw sprouts, which have caused outbreaks every year in the U.S. since at least 1995.
That, my friends, really is nuts.
Continue reading this column-slash-rant here.
How does the latest foodborne illness outbreak make you feel? Have these outbreaks changed the way YOU eat?