All food can cause food poisoning, but there are some notorious food items have been linked to foodborne illnesses and food poisoning more than others. In other words, these food items commonly carry harmful microbes that will make you very sick if the food is contaminated.
It is common knowledge that raw foods that come from animals are the most easily contaminated food items. Some examples of these items include raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or lightly cooked eggs, unpasteurized (raw) milk, and raw shellfish.
Of course, fruits and vegetables may also get contaminated, but the chances are much lower. It is also important to note that while some foods are more likely to make you sick, any food item can be contaminated.
Here are some foods that have been known to cause food poisoning and how to avoid getting sick from them.
You can get sick from eating raw and undercooked meat and poultry. This is because most raw poultry contains Campylobacter and sometimes Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and other bacteria.
Raw meat may also contain Salmonella, E. coli, Yersinia, and other bacteria, but it is advised that you wash them to avoid contaminating your utensils and surfaces.
It is very important that you thoroughly cook poultry and meat. To get rid of bacteria, you can cook poultry and meat to a safe internal temperature, then use a food thermometer to verify the temperature.
This is because it is not possible to tell if meat has been properly cooked just by looking at its color. Any leftover portion should be put in the fridge at 40°F or colder within two hours of preparation. If the meat is large, as in the case of whole turkeys, it should be cut into smaller quantities for refrigeration so they'll cool down before bacteria begin to grow.
It is beneficial to eat fresh produce because of their important health benefits, but sometimes raw fruits and vegetables may induce food poisoning from deadly microbes like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.
Keep in mind that fresh fruits and vegetables can be contaminated at any moment, so make things safe by constantly washing them before consuming them. Cooked fruits and vegetables are doubly safe, while washed ones are okay to eat. The unwashed ones are the taboo.
Avoid taking raw milk or soft cheeses and other products derived from raw milk as they can get you very sick. This is because raw milk may contain harmful germs, including Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.
However, it can be treated through pasteurization — which involves applying optimum heat for just long enough to get rid of the pathogens. Fortunately, most of the nutritional benefits of drinking raw milk are available in pasteurized milk.
Fully cooked eggs have firm yolks and whites. As innocent as they look, eggs may contain Salmonella which can make you sick, and this is not limited to cracked or dirty eggs.
To prevent this, use pasteurized eggs and egg products while making dishes that require raw or undercooked eggs. Also, remember to steer clear of foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs, like homemade Caesar salad dressing and eggnog.