Saturday, July 18, 2009

Food Not to be Eaten Raw

Dr. Gregg Miller, a board-certified emergency room physician, has the following food safety tips:
"Five Foods You Shouldn’t Eat Raw."

1. Cookie dough (and anything else containing raw eggs): In addition to the risk of E. coli discussed in the article, eating egg-containing dough prior to baking it puts you at risk for Salmonella.

2. Fish: Sushi, sashimi, and ceviche can carry multiple parasites. My favorite is Diphyllobothrium latum, an intestinal tapeworm transmitted by freshwater fish such as salmon, which can grow 30 feet long and live 20 years.

3. Sprouts: Alfalfa, bean, and other sprouts carry Salmonella, E. coli, and Bacillus bacteria due to the warm, humid environments in which they’re grown. Washing the surface of the sprouts does not eliminate the chance of illness, as the bacteria can live internally. Raw sprouts are not recommended for children, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems.

4. Beef and pork: Avoiding raw meat is a no-brainer, until you see it on the menu with an appetizing name like tartare or carpaccio. There’s a long list of diseases you could get from raw meat, so I’ll mention only one: neurocysticercosis, a parasite from undercooked pork that crawls from your intestine up to your brain, where it can live for years and cause seizures.

…and finally, no “Everybody Panic!” list is complete without at least one way you might inadvertently kill your child:

5. Honey: Honey contains bacterial spores that cause botulism, a disease that’s usually fatal if untreated. While adults and children have high stomach acid levels that kill the spores in honey, infants do not. Children less than a year old should not eat honey.

Of course, there are benefits of eating raw foods.

The Adventures of Rawman & Green-Girl.

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