I got this email from a colleague the Tuesday after Memorial
Day: “Can’t come in today. Stomach bug.”
I’m no detective but—with barbeque season officially
starting the day before—a prime suspect immediately jumped to mind: the
norovirus, the most common cause of food poisoning in the world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates
that 200,000 Americans contract food poisoning every day. But Philip Tierno, Ph.D., a microbiologist at New
York University medical center and author of The Secret Life of
Germs, believes the actual number is closer
And in 4 of 5 of food poisoning cases, the attack happens at
home—right (on the plate) under your nose.
"Everyone in this country will have at least one
incident of sickness this year attributable to a foodborne virus, bacteria, or
toxin," Tierno told Men’s Health.
Except that most of us won't know what hit us. Like my colleague, we'll chalk
up the usually mild symptoms—nausea, diarrhea, cramping—to a stomach bug that's
We asked Men's Health contributor Jim Gorman to help us
identify the 10 dirtiest foods we put on our plates. His report is shocking, in
that it reads like the average American’s grocery list. Read on for the dirt about your favorite foods—and how to protect yourself at the supermarket and your dinner table.