November 11, 2013
Do you know what’s in the food you’re eating? We’re not talking about food additives like salt and sugar – but bacteria. Foodborne illness due to harmful bacteria in food is on the rise in the United States.
Here are some eye-opening statistics. The Environmental Working Group found that government tests of supermarket meat revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as “superbugs”, in 81% of ground turkey, 69% of pork chops, 55% of ground beef and 39% of chicken breast, wings and thighs. That’s a hefty percentage of the meat found in supermarkets!
Foodborne illness can be fatal, especially in people who have a weakened immune system, pregnant women, the elderly and young children. There are steps you can take to protect yourself, and your family. Firstly and most significantly, proper food handling, including cooking meat to the correct internal temperature, can generally kill bacteria in food. Proper handling also means taking care not to cross-contaminate foods. Washing hands before and after handling meat, storing food correctly at the right temperature, and making sure meats are stored on a lower shelf in the fridge to reduce the risk of dripping contaminants onto foods on lower shelves are all important.
Another step that should be taken is to take care of your immune system. A healthy immune system helps to keep bacteria that cause foodborne illness in check – and that means you need a healthy gut, since that’s where 70% of your immune system is found. Diet plays an important role here. Eating an unhealthy diet of processed foods with lots of sugar and additives that increase inflammation changes the composition of bacteria in your gut to a less healthy mix while consuming more gut-friendly bacteria in the form of probiotics helps to maintain and restore intestinal balance. Ideally, consider taking a daily probiotic supplement such as Healthy Trinity to provide a constant source of beneficial bacteria and keep your gut healthy.
Unfortunately, you don’t have complete control over what’s in the food you eat. You can’t necessarily look at a piece of meat be sure that it’s free of bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The best defense you have is cooking all foods to the correct internal temperature, keeping a clean eating environment, and being careful of cross contamination with plenty of hand washing. A healthy immune system and a thriving population of probiotic bacteria in your gut may also help to keep bacteria that cause foodborne illness in check. It’s an extra layer of reassurance when you bite into a piece of chicken or steak.
The post Foodborne Illnesses – Beware of Bad Bacteria in your Diet appeared first on Natren Probiotics Blog.
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