(January 26, 2016) — After spending 20 years working on lawsuits involving food-poisoning claims, an attorney is releasing a list of the 6 foods he refuses to eat.
Bill Marler, who has been involved in lawsuits against Chipotle and other restaurants, has won over $600 million for clients who suffered illnesses after eating bad food.
Marler posted his list of foods to avoid to Food Poison Journal.
1. Unpasteurized “Raw” Milk and Packaged Juices
Marler says raw beverages can be dangerous and skipping the safety step of pasteurization opens us the risk of bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. There were 148 food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw milk from 1998-2011, and Marler says you have to remember not very many people are consuming the product. One of Marler’s earliest cases dealt with an E. coli outbreak caused from unpasteurized apple juice. “There’s no benefit big enough to take away the risk of drinking products that can be made safe by pasteurization,” he says.
2. Raw Sprouts
More than 30 bacterial outbreaks since the mid-1990s have been linked to either raw or undercooked sprouts; most of the cases were salmonella or E. coli. If not cooked thoroughly, Marler says he avoids all types of sprouts.
3. Meat That Isn’t Cooked Well-Done
“If it’s not cooked thoroughly to 160°F throughout, it can cause poisoning by E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial illnesses” Marler says. Ground meat products are problematic because bacteria on the surface can be ground down into it. With steaks, knives and forks used to pierce the meat for tenderizing can transfer bugs and bacteria deep into the meat, Marler says.
4. Prewashed or Precut Fruits and Vegetables
Marler says he avoids these types of food “like the plague.” All the people touching and processing this food to make your life easier are increasing the chances for contamination — and it’s not worth the risk.
5. Raw or Undercooked Eggs
This one is no shock. Marler says chances of getting food poisoning from eggs today is much lower than the 1980s or 90s, but he’s still not risking it.
6. Raw Oysters And Other Raw Shellfish
Another one that’s not really shocking. Marler says more foodborne illnesses lately are linked to shellfish. Global warmth is keeping our waters at temperatures great for producing microbial growth. “If there’s bacteria in the water it’ll get into their system, and if you eat it you could have trouble. I’ve seen a lot more of that over the last five years than I saw in the last 20 years. It’s simply not worth the risk,” Marler says.