CSPI 'Risky Foods' list includes oysters, tuna


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
October 7, 2009

The Center for Science in the Public Interest on Tuesday released a list of what it calls the "10 riskiest foods."

The list includes tuna and oysters due to foodborne illness outbreaks associated with the products. Leafy greens and eggs were cited for the most outbreaks and illnesses.

CSPI identified 268 outbreaks from tuna consumption that caused 2,341 illnesses and 132 outbreaks from oyster consumption that resulted in 3,409 illnesses.

In a media alert, the National Fisheries Institute of McLean, Va., said the list only highlights outbreaks associated with foods overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so it does not include illnesses associated with beef, chicken or pork. Potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries also made the top 10 list.

"Outbreaks give the best evidence of where and when the food safety system is failing to protect the public," said CSPI staff attorney Sarah Klein, the report's lead author. "It is clearly time for FDA's reliance on industry self-regulation to come to an end. The absence of safety plans or frequent inspections unfortunately means that some of our favorite and most healthful foods also top the list of the most risky."

The list is similar to a campaign CSPI launched last year when it stated that fish and shellfish topped its outbreak list and that the NFI said sought to distort federal illness records.

In July, CSPI called for a ban on Gulf oysters due to concerns of Vibrio vulnificus bacterium.

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