On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that salsa and guacamole prepared at restaurants pose a high risk for foodborne illness – i.e. food poisoning – because often salsa and guacamole are made in large batches and may not be properly refrigerated.
Ugh! I can’t stand eating out as it is. Who knows whose molesting my food? Quick, get me my surgical mask and rubber gloves!
But it isn’t just about employees not washing their hands, the fresh produce is also to blame. Raw vegetables, like tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers, have been previously linked to foodborne illness outbreaks.
Don’t we know! In May, pre-packaged Fresh Express romaine lettuce salads were recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. And just last week, Ready Pac baby spinach got pulled off shelves for E. coli contamination.
So the CDC is recommending restaurant workers take additional care when making and storing dips. From 1998 to 2008 salsa and guacamole dips accounted for 3.9% of food poisoning outbreaks traced to restaurants.
According to consumer and public health groups, foodborne illnesses cost the United States $152 billion in health-related expenses each year.