The list of six things a food poisoning expert won’t eat never gets old. It is composed of ingredients that Bill Marler, an attorney who litigates against restaurant chains for outbreaks of foodborne viruses like E. coli and norovirus.
Marler is an expert in the field of food poisoning and has won over $800 million for his clients during the course of his practice. With all that experience, he has decided that there are some foods that are just too risky to eat. Here are the six foods to avoid according to a food poisoning expert.
1. Raw oysters
They may be one of the ocean’s most delicious gifts but food poisoning cases linked directly to raw shellfish has been on the rise in a big way. The reason is because of global warming and the rise in sea temperatures, which promotes microbial growth, which then, in turn, get into the food chain and - because oysters are eaten raw - are directly consumed by you.
How do you cook oysters safely?
The FDA suggests boiling shucked oysters for 3 minutes, frying them in oil at 375°F for 10 minutes, or baking them at 232°C (450°(F for 10 minutes.
2. Pre-cut berries and fruit
Avoid these at all costs. Not only are they completely pointless and offer nothing other than higher cost and more packaging, but the extra processing to cut these fruit in to pieces mean they pass through more hands and have a longer food chain, meaning there’s more chance for contamination to get in.
Should I wash fruit before eating?
All fruit should be thoroughly washed and scrubbed under running water, without any detergent or soap, even if you are planning to discard the peel. Microbes and bacteria can contaminate the flesh of the fruit when you cut them.
3. Raw bean sprouts
Raw bean sprouts have been responsible for a number of salmonella outbreaks in recent years as the warm conditions they are grown in often make them vulnerable to bacterial out breaks.
Is it safe to eat bean sprouts raw?
Bean sprouts are safe to eat raw, but they should be washed thoroughly beforehand. Children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems should avoid eating them to be on the safe side.
4. Rare steak
We all love a rare steak, but the unfortunate truth is that rare and medium-rare steak can harbour harmful bacteria. Of course, this may be a culinary hill many chefs are willing to die on, but the United States Department of Agriculture recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked meat.
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5. Raw eggs
The '80s and '90s were full of salmonella outbreaks, which many still remember today, and while the risk is a lot lower now than then, uncooked or raw eggs still present a risk. Especially to the elderly, the immunocompromised and pregnant women.
6. Unpasteurised milk
Raw milk has seen a boom in popularity recently, but the fact is that untreated milk is one of the riskiest foods you can consume. Unpasturised milk can carry harmful bacteria such as germs including Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The same is true for raw milk from cows, sheep and goats.