Wednesday, July 25, 2007

1 in 2 million servings

One of my students just sent me an excellent article from NY Times about eating sushi during pregnancy. Finally -- a real analysis of the risks from a major publication! Steven Shaw wisely points out that if you take raw and partly cooked shellfish out of the equation, the risk of falling ill from eating raw fish (tuna, salmon, bass, etc) is 1 in 2 million servings. The risk from eating cooked chicken is 1 in 25,000. No, there is no typo here. You are actually safer ordering sushi than chicken. This is due to cross-contamination risk (raw ingredients coming in contact with cooked ones), and this risk is unavoidable when you eat out, and even eat in if you are not careful.


SteamyKitchen said...

thats great info. I ate sushi all the time when I was pregnant...until the thought of fish repulsed me....and then meat altogether was intolerable. All I wanted was McDonalds french fries dipped in McD soft serve.

Aronwy said...

Oooh, that is definitely a cool bit of info! Now to pass it around to all my friends who have been getting the heebie-geebies about eating sashimi during pregnancy. :) Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

This [the chicken statistic] is exactly why I wash my hands obsessively as I cook. It's also why I don't rinse raw chicken. I've read that you're more likely to splash bacteria around the kitchen that way--and you're going to completely cook the chicken anyway, so you'll kill whatever may be lurking on it. All sounds so appetizing, I know, but you started it, Helen!

Helen said...

Hi Terry,

You are absolutely right not to rinse the chicken. This applies to fish and meat as well. Most people rinse all these things because their moms used to rinse them :)


Anonymous said...

AHA!! I just had a baby girl this past December, and spent my entire pregnancy, bereft of sushi, wondering what pregnant Japanese women ate. Thanks!