Iceberg, romaine, butter and baby. While lettuce and leafy greens can be healthy, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says they are also the biggest cause of illness outbreaks in foods regulated by the FDA.
Kirk Griffith of the Garden of Eat'n deals with these types of greens every day. Griffith says, "Four different types of lettuce and I have 46 different toppings." Griffith says all of his produce comes prewashed, but that's not good enough. "I do take the precautions of washing it one more time," says Griffith.
Also on the list of risky foods are eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries. Salmonella was identified as the cause in 33 percent of the outbreaks from the FDA top 10.
Tawny Espinoza with the Mesa County Health Department says cleaning goes a long way. "It’s very important when you do get those fresh vegetables to go ahead and take them home and wash them. Those fruits and vegetables are very healthy, we do want to encourage people to keep eating those foods and there's no reason not to."
The FDA says this list highlights the changes the agency needs to make but doesn't have the authority to undertake, at the moment. Currently a bill that would give the FDA more power has passed the House and is working its way through the Senate.
But Griffith says either way he'd rather be safe than sorry. "I can guarantee every day you come in here you'll get the best salad that you can possibly make," says Griffith.
Illness caused by these ten foods can be as minor as stomach ache or as serious as death. The study does not include beef and poultry because they are monitored by the Department of Agriculture.