Choosing foods wisely is key to being healthy and staying that way. Foods and dishes to avoid eating raw are items you will want to put on your Don’t Eat This list. Study our list of food options, and why to opt out:
Dishes to dodge
Ceviche is a South American dish of raw fish or seafood marinated in acidic juice such as lemon, lime or orange juice. Uncooked seafood can contain bacteria or parasites that can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and anyone with a compromised immune system shouldn’t eat this dish.
Sushi is a Japanese dish consisting of small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavored cold rice served with a garnish of vegetables, egg or raw seafood. Sushi can have bacteria and parasites like anisakiasis, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Folks with a compromised immune system, young children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should skip it. All folks should avoid fish that could be high in mercury, like swordfish, bigeye tuna and shark.
Tartare is chopped raw meat or fish, prepared with seasonings. Choices may include salmon, steak, chicken, venison or tuna tartare; it is often served with a raw egg yolk. Raw meat and poultry are most likely to cause food poisoning. They can have bacteria from E. coli to Salmonella, which can make you extremely sick. Meat, poultry and seafood should be cooked to the recommended temperatures.
Raw foods to avoid
Flour and dough can be hazardous because of bacteria such as Salmonella, E-coli and Listeria that cause foodborne illnesses. Although flour is milled, it is the cooking process that provides the “kill” step that will eliminate the bacteria, i.e. boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving and frying.
Bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid which can be lethal. These almonds are not sold in the U.S. The almonds we eat, that are flavorful and healthy, are the “sweet almonds.”