What Foods Can Make You Sick?

There seem to be top 10 lists of food that can make you sick plastered all over the internet. Many of the lists ignore meat products and many forget products you may not consider. Here is a list of 10 foods that can make you sick.

Many of the foods that can make you sick are good parts of a healthy diet. Be sure to wash foods thoroughly just prior to using and to keep work areas clean and free from cross contamination. Wash hands before and after handling, and before handling different types of foods.

You can find a list of the top types of food-borne illness here.

Fresh Vegetables Can Make You Sick. Many vegetables top the list of foods that can make you sick. Fresh vegetables can be contaminated at the source and even in the processing buildings after washing. Leafy greens, tomatoes and scallions seem to top the list in this area. But bean sprouts can also make you sick if the seeds are contaminated in the field. Their small size makes it difficult to wash them properly.

Fresh Fruits Can Make You Sick. Similar to fresh vegetables, fresh fruits can be contaminated at the source or during handling. Even frozen fruits can be affected. Berries have been in the news for contamination, but other fruits can make you sick as well. Any fruit with a rind you don't eat can make you sick. When you cut through the fruit, the knife will carry any contaminants into the fruit. The bumpy rind on cantaloupes is more difficult to clean.

Getting Sick from Potato Salad? Another vegetable that can make you sick is potatoes, but it is prepared potato salad that causes more concern. If the potato salad was prepared at a deli and the counter was not thoroughly cleaned after preparing deli meat, you stand the risk of getting sick if the potatoes pick up germs from the deli meat

Certain Canned Fish That Can Make You Sick. Certain types of fish can make you sick and not from mercury levels. Fish such as tuna and mackerel can release a toxin if not properly stored at temperatures under 60 degrees after being caught. Once released, the toxins cannot be cooked away and can make you sick.

Other Seafood that Can Make You Sick - Oysters. Oysters can make you sick if they are raw or undercooked. They can be contaminated in the water since they are filter-feeders, or they can be contaminated during handling. Oysters can cause a couple different illnesses.

You Can Get Sick from Ground Meat. Ground meat is easy to be contaminated through processing due to so many steps and all of the handling and various ingredients used. Cook ground meat thoroughly to reduce your risk of getting sick.

Other Meats that Can Make You Sick. Chicken is a big offender when it comes to the potential for food poisoning. Be sure to cook thoroughly and clean hands and all surfaces thoroughly before handling other products. Also, pork can carry parasites that can live anywhere in your body and grow.

Getting Sick from Eggs. Recently there has been an issue with eggs carrying salmonella. But there has always been a risk for this. Always cook eggs thoroughly before eating and don't eat anything with raw eggs to reduce your risk of getting sick.

Can You Get Sick from Dairy Products? Ice cream and cheese have been linked to food-borne illness. Ice cream mix can become contaminated prior to use, and making ice cream at home with raw eggs can make you sick. Cheese has also been linked to illness from both food poisoning and mold. You can't always see the mold to cut it all off, and in softer cheese, mold can spread inside without being seen.

Boxed Mixes Can Make You Sick. Boxed mixes like pancake mix and cake mix can make you sick, especially if they are used after the expiration date. This is because a certain type of mold has been associated with ingredients in these types of mixes. Homemade pancakes and waffles are so easy to make and there is less risk of getting sick.

How Can Ice Make You Sick? Something you may not consider is ice. Ice can make you sick by contamination from other foods or from handling. Even if someone uses a scoop to serve ice, if the scoop is put back in the ice, germs on the handle are transferred to the ice and you can get sick. Ice can actually preserve some types of germs, so handle carefully to avoid getting sick.


David Schardt; Unforgettable foods: what's more likely to make you sick; bnet Health Publications

Todd Zwillich; 10 Foods Most Likely to Make You Sick; WebMD

Published by Jolynne Hudnell

Jolynne is a published poet with three books and a chapbook of her poetry available. Personal experience with a 70-pound weight loss and college coursework in fitness fuel an interest in writing about the...  View profile