There has been a lot of emphasis on the raw food diet as of late but with a bit of research, you’ll quickly discover that not all foods are suitable for raw consumption. Some foods offer more nutritional benefits when eaten raw while others may actually be dangerous for your health.

We’ve searched the web and have compiled a list of foods that you certainly do not want to eat raw. Some of these may come to no surprise while others may serious shock you! When in doubt, don’t eat these 12 foods raw, but instead make sure they’re fully cooked!

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1. Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient-rich food! They’re full of protein, healthy fats, essential minerals, vitamins and so much more! However, regardless of what others may tell you it may not be wise to add a raw egg to your morning shake. After all, you can reap the same benefits from a cooked egg, just without the chance of bacterial contamination.

According to the USDA, both the egg and the eggshells can be carriers of a harmful bacteria called Salmonella. This bacteria can penetrate the eggshell through the pores from fecal contamination, can contaminate the shell because it comes from the same passageway as feces, and the bacteria can be present in the hen’s reproductive tract before the shell was even formed. With that said, be sure to always cook your eggs before you eat them!

2. Pork

You may feel inclined to order your steak rare but think twice before eating raw or undercooked pork. Pork can carry parasites such as tapeworms which can cause you serious harm.

Pork tapeworms can live in the small intestine which can cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Further, after some time has passed, the tapeworm can reproduce and send the babies into your bloodstream which can not only cause pinkeye but also muscle pain too and in severe cases even death.  If you’ve consumed raw or undercooked pork, and experience any abnormal symptoms, be sure to contact your medical professional.

3. Chicken

Not eating raw chicken may seem like common sense, however, a popular Japanese dish called torisashi is making its way into restaurants across the United States. This dish consists of chicken that is cut into strips. The outer layer of the chicken is seared but the inside is left pink.

Trying new things can be both exciting and exhilarating but proceed with caution as there are risks when eating raw chicken. Raw chicken has been known to be a carrier of two types of bacteria, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. Studies show that about 1 in 6 Americans will fall sick due to a foodborne illness every year. Play it safe and make sure that the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Elderberries

Elderberries are well known for their medicinal properties. They’re most commonly used as a supplement to help treat flu and cold symptoms. However, eating raw elderberries could put be you at serious risk.

The berries, the bark, and the leaves are poisonous and if consumed could cause some serious stomach pain. Although, if cooked, the berries can be used to make delicious jams, pies, juice, and even wine! Just be sure not to pick them and eat them fresh off the tree.

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5. Potatoes

Eating potatoes raw isn’t a good idea for several reasons. Firstly, potatoes contain a large amount of resistant starch. This type of starch is incredibly difficult for the small intestine to digest, thus once it reaches the large intestine, colon bacteria will feed on it and in result will produce gas. This may cause discomfort, bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain.

Further, raw potatoes may be contamination with bacteria that could cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, and even a fever if consumed. This is because bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli can be present in the soil and/or the water. The potatoes can then absorb the bacteria while they grow or when they’re being harvested. Be sure to always eat your potatoes cooked, as the cooking process can destroy the bacteria!

6. Taro

The taro root is loaded with wonderful nutrients such as calcium, vitamin E, vitamin C, and potassium. It even has more fiber than a regular potato. However, just be sure not to eat them even if your friends dare you to.

This is because the taro root contains calcium oxalate, which is a compound that is known to make your mouth feel numb. In some severe cases if you consume too much you may even feel like you’re choking. Finally, in some severe cases, raw taro root could even cause kidney stones too. Not only is it recommended that you only consume taro root cooked, but it is also recommended that you wear gloves while preparing it, as raw taro root can irritate your skin if you touch it.

7. Flour

Flour is used in countless delicious recipes! It is used in decadent brownies, cookies, delicious pies, as a thickening agent for cooking, and so much more. But the next time you think about eating uncooked flour, think twice!

Uncooked flour could pose a potential health hazard. This is because it may have come into contact with bacteria such as E. coli. If the flour has been contaminated and was consumed it could cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. Avoid the risk and make sure the flour is fully cooked before eating as this will kill the bacteria.

8. Cookie Dough

I don’t know about you, but when I was young sneaking raw cookie dough while my mother was baking was one of my favorite things to do. It’s so delicious but studies show it’s not as safe to eat as we might have thought.

Raw cookie dough contains potentially risky ingredients. These are raw eggs and uncooked flour. As we discussed previously raw eggs may contain Salmonella, and uncooked flour may contain E. coli both of which can wreak serious havoc on your health. So the next time you make a batch of cookies, be patient and wait for those delicious treats to cook.

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9. Sprouts

There are several different types of sprouts such as alfalfa, mung bean, radish and more. Sprouts work wonderfully in dishes like stir fry and salad but enjoying them uncooked may put you at risk. Sprouts are known to carry not just 1 but several types of harmful bacteria. These include Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella.

Sprouts are grown in a warm and moist environment and this is exactly where bacteria will thrive. To avoid the risk of coming into contact with these types of bacteria, be sure to avoid eating undercooked or raw sprouts!

10. Wild Mushrooms

Firstly, it should be said, it’s never a good idea to pick and eat wild mushrooms without a trained expert because some may be safe for consumption while others are poisonous. That said, the mushrooms that are safe for consumption do contain many benefits such as essential B vitamins, potassium, and even antioxidants.

While they do host many benefits they could still cause you gastrointestinal distress if they’re not prepared properly. This is because some mushrooms are difficult to digest raw. Further, some studies show cooking mushrooms helps to release the nutrients so when in doubt, cook the mushrooms before you eat them!

11. Rhubarb Leaves

Raw rhubarb stalks are not dangerous for consumption, however, the leaves are. This is because the leaves contain oxalic acid, which is a seriously dangerous toxin!

If consumed, oxalic acid may cause a burning sensation in your mouth and/or throat, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and even eye pain. Further, it can cause kidney damage, and in very serious cases even death. Whether you’re going to eat the rhubarb stalks raw or cooked, ensure that the leaves have been completely removed.

12. Hot Dogs

I’m sure many of us have made the mistake of eating uncooked hot dogs. But if I’m being totally honest, back then I didn’t know it was a serious no-no. While they are delicious, they’re not exactly nutritious but that isn’t why you shouldn’t be eating them raw.

Unlike lunch meat, packaged hot dogs can come in contact with a nasty bacteria called Listeria. It is known that the only way to kill off this bacteria is by heating the hot dogs. Say no to food poisoning and be sure to cook the dogs!

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Now that we have established what you shouldn’t eat raw, here are the 15 Foods You Should Eat Raw, Not Cooked!

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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