Is your food safe?

Using a meat thermometer to ensure your meal is fully cooked can prevent bacteria such as salmonella from making you sick. More than 1 million people get salmonella from contaminated chicken every year: 19,000 have to go to the hospital, and 380 die. [Image credit: Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture ]

Using a meat thermometer to ensure your meal is fully cooked can prevent bacteria such as salmonella from making you sick. More than 1 million people get salmonella from contaminated chicken every year: 19,000 have to go to the hospital, and 380 die. [Image credit: Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture ]

Taking a close look at a cantaloupe at the supermarket won’t reveal that it’s infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium so hardy that it can cross the placenta from mother to child and cause severe diseases or even death in infants.

Listeriosis, which killed about three dozen Americans in a 2011 outbreak traced to contaminated cantaloupe at a plant in Colorado, is just one of many foodborne illnesses that strike 48 million Americans every year and kill about 3,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reducing the toll will require…

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