Organic Meat May Carry Higher Risk of Food-borne Illness

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A new study shows that organic meats may be more dangerous than conventional meat, but keep in mind that you should take this study with a grain of salt. The study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseasesnotes, “The new trend in the production of free-range, organically raised meat could increase the risk of Toxoplasma gondii contamination of meat.”  Toxoplasmosis is especially associated with health problems for pregnant women and babies, and the new research matches up with past research that claims organic meat may cause more food-borne illness than conventional meat, but also the risk isn’t entirely clear according to some research due to limited research conducted to determine the safety of organic meat from farm-to-fork. The other side of this coin is that eating conventional meat exposes you to many other health risks from pesticides to flame retardants to massive doses of antibiotics. Additionally, most food-borne illnesses, including that connected to meat is due to unsafe food handling practices. You can reduce your exposure to T. gondii in meat by adequately cooking meat, washing your hands and avoiding cross contamination in the kitchen. See food safety tips for pregnancy. Of course you can always go vegetarian too.

Lead image by Flickr User gabriel amadeus

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