Is Your Health Food Safe?

Ironically, last year, the only time I got sick from food was when I had just eaten a typical “health food” meal filled with vegetables as a main dish and a salad on the side.

After this meal I had a very bad case of food poisoning for the next 24 hours. I am sure for many people it would have lasted more than one day. I immediately wondered about that lettuce I had eaten that evening. There was nothing to tell me it was “bad” but I just had this “intuitive feel” about it – and my intuition is rarely wrong. However, I just let it go and was happy. I was fine. I didn’t bother to follow up.

Imagine my surprise when the following morning I received the following information from a consumer watch organization I am a member of:

Do you have fresh lettuce in your fridge? Last Wednesday, a company recalled romaine lettuce in 29 states due to salmonella. Much of that lettuce was already in people’s homes. Did you know about the recall effort so you could check on your greens? Probably not. It’s time we stop relying on unreliable recalls and start to prevent food poisoning up front. The Food Safety Enhancement Act will do that, but we need your Representative to vote FOR it this week, before Congress goes on its recess! The House could vote this afternoon or tomorrow. Act now!

It certainly would be nice to have more information about what is happening with the food I purchase. We are not able to be self-reliant at this point so I do rely on outside food sources and I need to trust those sources.

My stomach seems to be “iron” in many ways. I lived overseas for years and ate street vendor food, unwashed vegetables and fruits and even drank from the Nile River a few times (I was young and invincible like we all were at that age). I can’t believe some of the things I ate! But the only times I ever got ill were when I at at the fancy “Nile Hilton”. I often wonder if the entire “beware of local food” scare was created to increase attendance at local hotel restaurants!

Of course, that is my experience and I am saying that jokingly, of course. One should be cautious in what they eat and aware of what they are consuming – from a street vendor or from a fancy hotel chain.

What has surprised me, however, most of all is that in 16 years of living in “developing countries” I experienced food poisoning only twice. Since coming back to live in the USA I’ve experienced it 6 times in only 5 years.


Without a scientific study there is no way to tell if this is coincidence, because of acclimation to certain bacteria or because of other factors. However, it is wise to be aware of current happenings in the market. One does not want their “health food” to (ironically) be the thing that makes them sick! Check out our list below for some resources we use to keep in touch.

What are your experiences with food poisoning and food safety? How do you keep yourself and your family safe? Share with the list! I would love to hear what everyone has to say.

US Government Food Recalls & Alerts

Food Safety Site by USDA

Automatic Alerts (by phone, text, e-mail

Newsletter Alerts by Food Safety News

RecallWatch (app)

Recalls Plus (app)

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