Foodborne illness is not a pleasant topic to think about. However, the most important protection against it is learning more about it and ways to prevent it. When I taught infectious disease courses, we had what we called a Food Lab for the purpose of detecting certain bacterial contamination on some common foods.
Specifically we found that alfalfa sprouts from a local supplier in a large supermarket, a salad from a local restaurant, and some equipment in a cafeteria in the community all contained some species of E.coli, but we lacked the ability to determine if they were the harmful types. Nevertheless, they should not have been there. In all cases, this suggested the lack of proper food handling practices.
Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid, but with proper cleaning or hand washing procedures during food preparation, it can be prevented.
It is also important to realize the seriousness of some of these infections by reading the stories of the survivors. The following article is about a victim who expresses some valid points about education of the medical community.
CLICK HERE for a previous post on food safety practices in the home.