The Risks of Eating Raw Food
Some people eat raw or undercooked food in order to experience the original taste. However, this comes with the price of having a higher risk of food poisoning. This is proven in a report by Dr Ken CHONG, the Scientific Officer, Risk Communication Section, Centre for Food Safety. Chong reported that “one of the most contributing factors of local food poisoning cases has been attributed to contaminated raw foods.” So, here are some raw or undercooked foods that can cause food poisoning:
Eating raw or undercooked oysters can cause hepatitis, a disease that causes liver diseases. One can also be infected with vibriosis, an intestinal disease caused by small bacteria called vibrio, and it can be found in shell fish living in salt water and in rivers. Most times, oysters carry these bacteria and can pass them on to the water if not well cooked.
It is advisable that you cook your eggs until the white and yolk are firm. This is because fresh eggs can carry salmonella which can cause food poisoning. However, for recipes that require raw eggs like Caesar dressing or some sauce, make sure you use only pasteurised eggs.
Raw or undercooked pork can have bacteria like salmonella and listeria. Most times, the bacteria are gotten from undercooked pork or meats generally. To avoid this, you should cultivate the habit of cooking your meats for at least 20-30 minutes at 145 degrees F. After, you can allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving it.
Whenever you want to cook your potato, always check for the green part. This is because the green part can cause solanine, a bitter substance that causes diarrhoea, fever, headache, stomach pain, slow pulse or breathing and vomiting. Therefore, endeavour to ignore or cut the green along with the eye and wash it properly before you prepare it.
When preparing the dough, it can be tempting to have a taste of the batter. But, it can make you sick due to the bacteria contained in flour. Bacteria like E.coli meaning Escherichia Coli is commonly found in the gut of warm-blooded organism, and they can cause illness such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever and sometimes vomiting.
Most times, it is used prepare fried rice or other kinds of recipe. Kidney beans can be so soft to the extent that you’d want to have a taste of it. However, eating as few as four or six raw kidney beans especially the red ones can make you sick. The beans have a protein called bean lectin, and undercooked kidney beans can cause stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea. So, make sure you soak your raw kidney beans for at least two hours before you boil them for about 20 minutes.
Note: you can use the canned beans because it is believed that they’ve already been cooked.
Bitter almonds have cyanide and cyanide prevents the cells of the body from using oxygen. Cyanide is more harmful to the heart and brain than to other organs because the heart and brain use a lot of oxygen. Well, most almonds you get in the market are sweet almond which are safe however, you need to be careful.
Everyone is susceptible to food poisoning, but vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, infants, young children, elderly and people with weakened immunity are of higher risk of being infected or having complications if they consume undercooked or raw foods due to their health status. To get rid of pathogens, it is advisable that you cook your food thoroughly as heat can effectively kill the pathogens.
Read Also: Why You Should Avoid Canned Foods