According to the U.S. Potato Board, the announcement by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) naming potatoes to the list of the “Top 10 Riskiest Foods Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration” requires clarification so as not to raise unnecessary alarm or confusion among consumers.
“Potatoes are inherently healthy and are not an inherently risky food and they should not be on this list at all. The issue is cross-contamination, not the potato itself,” says Tim O’Connor, CEO of the U.S. Potato Board.
Potatoes rank number five on the CSPI list, which is based on data collected since 1990 about foods that caused the largest numbers of foodborne-illness outbreaks. Potatoes are on the list because of the risk of cross-contamination due to improper handling, either in foodservice settings or home kitchens.
“Potatoes have long-served as an important part of American’s diets, and there is no reason why anyone should feel concerned about consuming potatoes,” says Kathleen Triou, vice president of domestic marketing for the U.S. Potato Board. “That said, proper kitchen practices must rule the day when it comes to keeping potatoes—and all other foods—safe, wholesome, and naturally good to eat.”