Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I'm an omnivore. I have even eaten barbecued bugs in Asia, sheep's eyes in Greece, some very odd root foods gathered by Bushmen in Africa, and well...a whole lot of other things I would rather not think about these days.

But the other night someone I met at a party asked me if there are any types of North American dishes or meals I simply won't eat because I consider them too unsafe. Yes, there are. Here are five that I plan to pass on in 2011, both when eating at home and when eating out:

• Salads or sandwiches made using raw sprouts.
Sprouts are simply too easily contaminated, even when producers use best FDA recommended procedures, and even if you grow them yourself.

• Raw oysters in any form.
True, I don't care for their slimy texture, but there is also a major health risk: Vibrio vulnificus bacteria which can make you very seriously ill and even be fatal.

• Farmed fish imported from China.
Too many drug residues have been found in these fish, and the FDA probably isn't even catching a small fraction of the ones that are there.

• Cheeses made with unpasteurized ("raw") milk.
I love them, but the latest outbreaks are showing that the 60 day cheese aging rule is not working to kill all bacteria.

• Sunnyside-up eggs.
I don't consider eggs to be a very risky food, in spite of the 2010 large Salmonella-associated outbreak. But they're easy to give up. I mean, they're not like chocolate. So why risk it?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What about sushi? Raw fish, refrigerated (maybe) for who knows how long?