If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how bad it can be. Many people get food poisoning without even knowing and just assume it’s a virus or something. There are several foods that are high risk for carrying the germs or pathogens that cause food poisoning, I have list only a few here.
Chicken is probably one of the most well known foods that cause illness. In a study done by Men’s Health, more than 40 percent of the samples studied of chicken had bacteria that cause food poisoning, even E. coli.
To prevent food poisoning from chicken, it is imperative to be sure the chicken is cooked completely through. Even the frozen dinners can make you sick, so make sure they are cooked thoroughly also. Clean all surfaces and utensils, including your hands, that come in contact with raw chicken in hot soapy water to kill the bacteria and keep it from spreading to other foods.
Salads and leafy greens are another food item that have had a lot of instances for causing illness. All leafy greens and even bagged salads should be thoroughly rinsed in cold water before using. E. coli is especially prevalent in salad items.
One of the foods that we really don’t think about making us sick is ice. Especially if it is being served in a cooler to a number of people. Anyone who helps themselves to the ice and hasn’t practiced good hand washing is a potential carrier of any number of bacteria that can make you sick. In this situation, it is best to have one person serving the ice to the entire group.
Even though eggs are in the news a lot lately, the risk of getting sick from eggs is still relatively low. With this in mind, you still need to know that the nutrients that make the eggs so good for us are also a good place for bacteria to grow. Eggs that have not been kept in the refrigerator pose the greatest risk for containing bacteria and since there is no way to be certain that they have been kept refrigerated, it is highly recommended that yo cook your eggs thoroughly. Thorough cooking will kill any bacteria that may be in the egg, making it totally safe to eat. Make sure you throw away any eggs that are cracked or dirty to avoid any contamination that may have occurred.
Some of the organisms in tuna and shellfish can be potentially dangerous also, but the most dangerous seafood is smoked fish because of the way it is prepared and handled. Smoked fish isn’t kept at a safe temperature and is left to sit out for long periods of time, allowing potentially toxic bacteria to grow.
Oysters can be dangerous because they filter their food from the water that they live in, if that water is contaminated, then that contamination is in the meat. Oysters can cause PSP, or paralytic shellfish poisoning. PSP is caused by a biotoxin in the contaminated shellfish and when it is consumed, the biotoxin can produce symptoms within an hour or two which can range from tingling or numbness in the lips to impaired speech and difficulty breathing or moving. There is no antidote for PSP and it sometimes ends in death.
Green potatoes contain a chemical that can cause food illness called solanine. Potatoes that are stored in the sun or are green can contain high levels of solanine. The illness caused by green potatoes are much like a viral infection including diarrhea and vomiting, and a low-grade fever.
Hard cheeses that have mold are still safe to eat, simply cut off the molded areas. On the other hand, soft and moist cheese promote the growth of bacteria and can make you sick for up to a week. A bacteria called Listeriosis can grow on soft cheese which have not been properly stored, resulting in food poisoning.
Peanuts that have not been stored properly can grow a fungus called Aspergillus. This fungus produces a molecule called Aflatoxins which can cause severe liver damage and can also cause cancer. Immediately discard any moldy peanuts or even peanut butter. This particular fungus could potentially kill you.
Sprouts such as bean sprouts carry the same risk of food poisoning as any other salad green if not stored properly. Sprouts, however, require a warm and humid area in which to grow which is ideal for all kinds of bacteria to live happily. Usually with sprouts, the seed is the part of the plant that is contaminated by the bacteria. Make sure to wash all sprouts in cool, running water before eating.
Strawberries, raspberries and any other berry is another common source of food poisoning. Most of these contaminated berries are imported. The bacteria usually found on berries is called Cyclospora, which causes severe diarrhea, cramping and dehydration.