If one of your great pleasures in life is a cold ham sandwich, the CDC would like you to know that what’s lurking in your lunch box could possibly kill you.
Bologna, ham, sliced turkey and roast beef all make deli sandwiches delicious, but they also can harbor a dangerous and potentially deadly bacteria known as listeriosis. Old people, immunocompromised individuals and people who are knocked up are particularly at risk of serious illness resulting from the bacteria, which is heavily linked with miscarriage and stillbirth.
Government agencies say the new warnings to heat deli meats is a strong one:
But food-safety officials mean business about the warning. “When it comes to food safety, we’re serious: People at risk for listeriosis should not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats or deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot. Thoroughly reheating food can help kill any bacteria that might be present. If you cannot reheat these foods, do not eat them,” says Neil Gaffney, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service.
The warnings regarding deli meats seem, aside from hot dogs, like they would render the prospect of a sandwich unappetizing and far more complicated. Are you going to bother to heat your ham sandwich before you eat it? Are you concerned with listeria, which results in 1,600 cases and 260 deaths a year? Does the term “steaming hot” kind of gross anyone else but me out?