While we live in a world where you can microwave a meal in three minutes or less, the raw food movement is trending. Some believe it is healthier to eat unprocessed foods in their “natural” state. Although this may be true for some foods, there are a few surprising raw foods that can make you extremely sick.
The following foods should be eaten cautiously or avoided entirely:
These skinny veggies are big on nutrition. Unfortunately, they can also trigger food poisoning when consumed raw or even lightly cooked. This is because bacteria thrive in the warm, humid environments where sprouts grow. While there are approved treatments to reduce contamination, there is no way to guarantee all harmful bacteria are destroyed in raw sprouts. Bottom line: Health benefits associated with savoring raw or lightly cooked sprouts outweigh the risks for healthy individuals. However, if you or someone you know is at a high-risk for food poisoning, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems, do not eat raw or lightly cooked sprouts because they can cause severe and life-threatening illness.
Have you heard that raw milk can prevent illnesses like asthma and allergies? Well, that is not the case. In fact, there are no benefits to drinking raw milk and it can actually make you extremely sick. Raw milk is dangerous because it isn’t pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. If milk isn’t pasteurized, these bacteria aren’t killed and can quickly grow and multiply. Bottom line: When it comes to dairy, drink pasteurized milk and stay safe.
As tempting as it may be, you should always say no to cookie dough and any other batters or foods containing raw eggs. This is because raw eggs have been identified as one of the leading causes of Salmonella food poisoning in the United States today. It’s especially important to teach young kids not to eat any dough containing raw eggs, as children are more vulnerable to food poisoning. Before you begin cooking with children, teach them about the dangers of raw eggs and ask them to take the Cookie Rookie Pledge. Bottom line: It’s worth waiting the extra few minutes for your batter to cook all the way through and avoid the dangers of food poisoning.
If you are tempted by the raw food diet or just want to save some time in the kitchen, be cautious and make sure your raw food is safe to eat.