Six Risky Foods You Should Consider Avoiding

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Having spent over 20 years working on food-poisoning lawsuits, Bill Marler simply doesn't eat certain foods anymore. Some of the things on his list might surprise you.

The attorney, who litigated suits against Chipotle after the chain's E. coli and norovirus outbreaks, was cited in an article by Health Insider from BottomLine outlining what foods he has cut from his diet.

Having won more than $US600 million for clients in foodborne-illness cases, Marler says his experiences convinced him that these foods aren't worth the risks.

Here are the foods that this expert says scares him the most:

#1 Raw oysters

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Marler says that he has seen more foodborne illnesses linked to shellfish in the past five years than in the two preceding decades. The culprit: warming waters. As global waters heat up, they produce microbial growth, which ends up in the raw oysters consumers are slurping down.

#2 Precut or prewashed fruits and veggies

Marler says that he avoids these 'like the plague.' Convenience may be nice, but, as more people handling and processing the food means more chances for contamination, it isn't worth the risk.

#3 Raw sprouts

Sprout outbreaks are surprisingly common, with more than 30 bacterial outbreaks - primarily salmonella and E. coli - in the past two decades.

'There have been too many outbreaks to not pay attention to the risk of sprout contamination,' Marler says. 'Those are products that I just don't eat at all.'

4. Rare meat

Sorry, chefs: Marler isn't going to order his steaks any rarer than medium-well. According to the expert, meat needs to be cooked to 160 degrees throughout to kill bacteria that could cause E. coli or salmonella.

#5 Uncooked eggs

For anyone who remembers the salmonella epidemic of the 1980s and early '90s, this is a no-brainer. According to Marler, the chance of getting food poisoning from raw eggs is much lower today than it was 20 years ago, but he still isn't taking any chances.

#6. Unpasteurized milk and juices

A growing movement is encouraging people to drink 'raw' milk and juices, arguing that pasteurization depletes nutritional value. Marler says that pasteurization is not dangerous - but raw beverages can be, as skipping the safety step means an increased risk of contamination by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

'There's no benefit big enough to take away the risk of drinking products that can be made safe by pasteurization,' he says.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


    Medium-well steak? Are you mad? You may as well just give it to the dog.

      This sir, is an insult to my BBQ style. Wait until it's perfectly cooked, then cook 10 more minutes.

      I like my steaks well done. Actually cooked all the way through. It's not supposed to be still mooing when it's on your plate.

    A lawyer is not the best person to be giving food advice.

      Better than most of the food blogs that people read that are written by mid 40's mums who have no idea what they are on about.

      Lawyers spend half of their billable hours in restaurants, working. ahem.

      This one is. The practice also has a laboratory for evidence testing. They have not had to try a case in a long time. Defendant's scientists/lawyers are shown the facts and settle. BTW, I eat all but sprouts and cut fruit; what a risk taker. But I have never seen the consequences he has.

    Raw mince, yes, raw steak no. Mince gets ground up causing the bacteria to get throughout the product. Steak only contains the bacteria on the outside which is killed when it's cooked. That's why its safe to eat rare meat in terms of bacteria.

    Anyone who consumes raw milk is a moron. Raw milk is only okay right after it's done from the cow. Anytime after that and it basically can kill you. Raw milk is less healthy than processed milk.

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