Centers for Disease Control

Leafy Greens Responsible for Nearly Half of Food-Borne Illnesses

Take that, vegans!


Though leafy greens accounted for the most U.S. food-related illnesses, poultry caused the most deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The Atlanta-based agency examined 4,589 food-related disease outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, the first comprehensive study of its kind by the agency.

The CDC looked at outbreaks across 17 food categories and found that almost half of all outbreaks originated from leafy greens, which include lettuce and spinach.

Researchers found that leafy greens accounted for 46% of all infections reported. Many of those illnesses were caused by norovirus, which is characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea and stomach cramping.