Are your kids or grandkids fans of eating raw cookie dough? Many kids and even adults are, and we can hardly blame them, as that stuff is absolutely delicious. That said, no one should be eating raw dough, really, for several reasons. For one, it contains raw eggs (more on that later), but the raw flour that's another essential ingredient is no less harmful either, as it turns out.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention point out on their website that raw flour may become contaminated with dangerous bacteria like E.coli during transportation and storage, and so consuming flour raw could lead to bacterial infections. Cooking kills off all the germs lurking in flour.
Potatoes are, without a doubt, one of the most common kitchen staples in existence, but it turns out that they are more finicky than they appear. For one, you shouldn't try eating potatoes raw, as they contain certain starches that our digestive system cannot handle. As a result, eating uncooked potatoes can result in bloating and other stomach issues. Cooked potatoes don’t cause the same adverse effects because heat breaks down these starches.
Most people are largely unaware of the potential dangers raw milk poses to health because we're so used to buying pasteurized milk in stores these days. When raw, milk could contain many dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Data by the American Food and Drug Administration suggests that raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause digestive issues compared to all other dairy products.
So, if you'll ever have the chance to drink or purchase fresh cows milk, make sure it has been boiled before drinking or using it in foods, as drinking raw milk can cause foodborne illnesses.
4. Forest Mushrooms
The main problem with forest mushrooms, even when you know that it's the edible variety and not the poisonous one, is that they have been growing in an uncontrolled environment and may harbor dangerous pathogens, so cleaning, washing, and cooking them thoroughly is a must. We'd recommend staying away from picking any wild mushrooms, though, if you or someone with you isn't a seasoned professional at spotting the poisonous mushroom varieties since as much as touching certain poisonous mushrooms can pose a danger to one's health.
As for store-bought mushrooms, they are most often safe to consume raw, but foodies point out that cooking them up with some spices may result in a much tastier meal.
5. Certain Beans
Beans are certainly some of the most nutritious and healthy foods out there, but you should always cook them thoroughly before eating. Uncooked kidney beans, for example, have the toxin phytohemagglutinin that causes symptoms similar to food poisoning when consumed.
Raw Lima beans (pictured above), on the other hand, contain compounds called cyanogenic glycosides, a natural protective mechanism for the plant, that produce hydrogen cyanide when chewed on. Therefore, make sure to cook or at least boil all beans thoroughly before adding them to foods.
Raw eggs were once considered good pre-workout food, but we must point out that eating raw eggs alone or in a meal is risky due to its potential contamination with Salmonella. Eggs should be cooked at the temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) for the bacterium to die. When eggs are combined with other ingredients, in turn, the necessary cooking temperature should be increased to 160°F (71°C).
7. Hot dogs
Most of us wouldn't dare to eat raw meat, but some people believe it's safe to eat raw hot dogs because they have been pre-cooked and smoked, which is just wrong. According to the FDA, hot dogs, even when packaged and sealed, can become the breeding ground for the bacterium called Listeria that causes foodborne illness. Therefore, it's crucial to boil or at least microwave the hot dogs before eating.
Consuming raw eggplant can be toxic, especially when they've been picked young. This is because raw eggplants contain the toxin called solanine. One average eggplant contains around 11mg of solanine, so you’d have to eat a lot of eggplants to experience any symptoms (eating 12 raw eggplants would is the lethal dose). Still, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially since some people are allergic to eggplant.
Adding alfalfa and radish sprouts into fresh salads was a trend not so long ago, but it turns out that you should always cook sprouts before consuming them, too. The sprouts themselves may be healthy to eat, but they grow in warm and humid conditions that are essentially a petri dish for bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, all common foodborne illnesses that are present in most crops and seeds you can buy at the supermarket.
The contamination issue is so widespread that many restaurants have stopped using sprouts altogether. Therefore, it's best to cook the sprouts before eating or avoid them altogether.
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