7 Foods That Can Lead to Food Poisoning

Read on to find out common foods that cause food poisoning and some reasons why.

Even the healthiest immune system can have a difficult time fighting off germs, which is why you need to consume nutritious foods and beverages that are free of bacteria. Meal preparation also plays a significant role in food poisoning, so it would be best to practice excellent hygiene and choose restaurants that do the same. Below are common foods that cause food poisoning and some reasons why.


These popular items are great for omelets and breakfast casseroles, but people use eggs for many other entrees, as well as baked cakes and cookies. Despite their popularity, eggs are often tainted with salmonella and can lead to foodborne illness. Refrigerating these foods properly can help kill bacteria; cooking these eggs thoroughly can also eliminate the germs and reduce your risk of developing food poisoning. If a recipe calls for uncooked eggs, it would be best to use pasteurized products to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria and viruses.


Seafood, like fish, is a common source of food poisoning. When fish is not stored at correct temperatures, they have a higher risk of histamine contamination, a toxic bacteria found in some seafood. If you consume fish with histamine, you could develop what is typically referred to as scombroid poisoning. The algae consumed by shellfish produce toxins that lead to typical cases of foodborne illness. These types of shellfish include oysters, clams, scallops, and mussels. Fish found in tropical waters often carry ciguatoxin, which cannot be destroyed by cooking.


Chicken and other types of poultry are consumed by many families each year; however, these are everyday items that lead to food poisoning for a variety of reasons, like undercooking. Chicken and turkey have a higher risk of being contaminated due to the bacteria generally found in the feathers and guts of birds. In most cases, the poultry is contaminated before it reaches the supermarkets. The common bacteria found in these foods are campylobacter and salmonella. When cooked thoroughly, the bacteria in poultry can be eliminated.

Fruits and Vegetables

Although these nutrients are essential for weight management, better bone health, and lowering odds of serious diseases, fruits and vegetables can cause food poisoning, mainly when they are not well-cleaned or adequately stored. For example, an apple may start in the garden at your home or on the back of a farmer’s truck, but by the time it is placed in your mouth, the areas the apple has traveled to can increase significantly. Therefore, the fruit needs to be washed with warm water before eating; some people choose to use soap or fruit and vegetable sprays to alleviate bacteria. It would help if you also cut away any damaged or bruised areas on the foods before eating to stave off food poisoning.

Raw Dairy Products

Many people who suffer from foodborne illness sometimes consume natural products like milk and cheese. The unpasteurized items are often unclean, but the contaminated products still make it to the store or a consumer’s kitchen. Without pasteurization, the dangerous particles are not eliminated, and the germs can upset your immune system or lead to severe health effects. If you choose to consume raw dairy products, it is best to cook the items before eating. Warming up the raw milk and cheeses could kill various bacteria commonly found in these foods, such as E. coli and brucella.

Pork and Red Meat

Salmonella and clostridium perfringens are often found in these meats, and the toxins commonly cause food poisoning. The bacteria are typically killed when the foods are grilled, baked, and fried; however, eating these meats uncooked can increase the risk of illness.

The most common types of meat that lead to food poisoning are:

• Sausage
• Pork Chops
• Steak
• Hamburgers

Ice Cream

This sweet treat is a favorite of many people, but it can cause foodborne illness when eaten after melting and then being refrozen in the freezer. When the item melts, the milk and other liquid ingredients attract Listeria and various bacteria, causing food poisoning. Therefore, it is best to eat ice cream immediately and always place the frozen dessert in the freezer when coming home from the store; try to go directly home, instead of making multiple stops when carrying ice cream in the car.

Prevention Tips

It is vital to wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and eating; the kitchen countertops, tableware, cooking appliances, dishcloths, and eating utensils should also be well-cleaned. When storing food in the refrigerator, keep raw meats on the bottom shelves to prevent them from touching other foods. The best way to kill traces of bacteria is to cook foods thoroughly. When it comes to storing leftovers, it is best to cool these items quickly and place them in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible. Always go by the expiration dates before eating foods and drinking beverages; consuming expired items can increase the risk of food poisoning.

Following the tips mentioned above can lower your odds of eating contaminated foods and help you avoid foodborne illnesses. The best strategy is to know what foods are more likely to cause immune system problems and pay closer attention when preparing and consuming these items. If you notice any warning signs of food poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, or stomach cramps, try some home remedies to ease these symptoms immediately. However, it would be best to call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care for treatment if the issues worsen.


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