This week, Cynthia Mangione, a food laboratory specialist at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Stephanie Brock, a radiation health supervisor at the Kentucky Department for Public Health, took to Reddit to answer questions about their jobs. They spend their days “testing products imported into the US for dangerous pathogens, as well as illegal dyes, metals, antibiotics and more.” Here are the three most surprising reveals:
I have given up sprouts because of ongoing concerns with their safety. We also make sure to wash ready-to-eat veggies (despite the “triple wash” designation).
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety website, sprouts — such as alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts — are a higher-risk food. This is because they are eaten raw and, unlike other fresh produce, need to grow in warm and humid environments — the ideal breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. Washing them doesn’t always kill that potentially harmful bacteria.
Since 1996, there have been more than 30 outbreaks in the US associated with sprouts. In a recent analysis of food outbreaks in the US, sprouts were among the leading culprits.
3) The craziest thing they found in a food they tested…
We recently found a whole mouse in an energy drink!
Can’t really explain this one, but it’s pretty disturbing.