Given that it’s 90 degrees in much of the country, it may seem hard to believe that the hot cider, pumpkin spice and Halloween candy season is upon us. But even though you may still be rocking a (burnt orange) bikini, that autumnal cinnamon coma is just around the corner. And, as it turns out, two sienna-hued food maladies may await as well.
Poisonous Apples Indeed
You know those burnished brown globes of heaven known as caramel apples? Start thinking of them as balls o’ bacteria. A new study by the American Academy of Microbiology found that listeria thrives on Granny Smith apples punctured with popsicle sticks, especially when they’re left unrefrigerated after dipping. Listeriosis, the illness that results from listeria exposure, can take weeks to cause symptoms, which include fever, headache and gastrointestinal issues. (It’s the same bacteria that shuttered famed ice cream makers Jeni’s and Blue Bell earlier this year). To stay safe, refrigerate caramel apples if you make them at home and stay away from the ones on shelves.
Hidden Allergens Abound
Fall desserts and baked goods are often teeming with omega-rich love nuggets in the form of walnuts, pecans and pine nuts. Sauces are enriched with nut meats, oils and invisible anchovies. And when the canned produce comes out, the microscopic mold comes in. The lesson here? Those with severe food allergies are only guaranteed safe when they prepare foods themselves. If you’re out, though, never be shy to ask servers and chefs about hidden ingredients and read nutrition labels religiously. And consider spiking your diet with natural allergy fighters. According to Rodale's Organic Life, broccoli has been shown to clear sinuses, kale combats asthma and stinging nettle tea (look for it in the health-food store) has been shown to help the body become less allergic.