Certain foods are more prone to be contaminated with bugs, which may lead to food poisoning in the long run. While most healthy people recover from food poisoning on their own, people over 65, young children, pregnant women, and those with underlying health condition, are vulnerable to a bout of severe food poisoning since their immune system is already compromised. People with a weak immune system find it harder to combat diseases and fight off germs. Food poisoning may be a nuisance in the young, but symptoms in people with an impaired immune system can deteriorate into life-threatening conditions, such as severe dehydration. This is why these people take much longer to recover from food poisoning. If you know someone who is showing the symptoms of food poisoning, it is important to seek medical help. Here are foods that people with a weak immune system need to steer clear of at all cost, since they increases your chances of getting food poisoning.
Some Soft Cheeses
If you have a weakened immune system or know someone who does, its best to avoid any unpasteurized soft cheeses, soft blue cheeses such as Roquefort, gorgonzola, and Danish blue, as well as mould-ripened soft cheese, such as camembert and brie. These cheeses can be dangerous for people with a weakened immune system since they are laden with moisture unlike hard cheeses and may be less acidic, which creates a perfect breeding ground for food-poisoning bugs like listeria. If you do want to consume soft cheese, it is better to cook them to kill the harmless bacteria.
People with a weakened immune system should steer clear of all types of chilled or fresh pâté, including vegetable pâté. However, tinned pâté is devoid of listeria and other contaminants, since they have gone through a heat treatment which gets rid of most of the contaminants.
Raw Or Runny Eggs
While eggs are generally healthy for all individuals, people who have a weakened immune system should only consume fully cooked eggs, those with solid yolks and fully cooked whites. Avoid undercooked eggs at all cost, including products that utilize raw eggs like hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise. This is because raw eggs are often the main source of salmonella food poisoning. This also extends to goose eggs, quail eggs and duck eggs.
Many cold meats such as pepperoni, chorizo, prosciutto, and salami are just fermented and cured, without actually going through the cooking process. This makes them vulnerable to toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. Before you consume such products, its always prudent to check the labels to check whether the products need cooking first or are ready to eat. You can reduce the risk from parasites in ready-to-eat meats by freezing cured/fermented meats for 4 days at home before you eat them. Such low temperature can kill most parasites, making it safer to eat meats. However, there is no need to freeze the meat if you are planning to cook it. When eating out, it is best to ask the staff whether they are selling cold cured/fermented meats that hasn’t been frozen.
Raw Or Undercooked Meat And Poultry
Be careful at barbecues. Undercooked meat is a thriving ground for food poisoning bugs such as E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella. Especially, burgers, sausages, and poultry is dangerous to consume until fully cooked through. The best thing is to cook meat until no traces of blood or pinkish tinge remains. Not to mention, after washing or preparing raw poultry or meat, remember to disinfect your hands as well as the kitchen surfaces to prevent spreading any harmful bugs.
Most people don’t know that raw shellfish, such as clams, scallops, prawns, crab, lobster, and mussels can contain detrimental viruses and contaminants that can trigger food poisoning in people with weakened immune system. However, pre-cooked prawns and cooked shellfish are safe for consumption.
Sushi and other such dishes can prove to be a harbinger of food poisoning since they are prepared with raw seafood. However, if the fish has been frozen first, these dishes can be consumed safely. This is because freezing rids the fish of all parasitic worms and makes it safe to consume. Sushi sold in shops is often frozen to exceed its shelf life, making it safe to eat. Even if you are making your own sushi, make sure it the fish has been frozen for at least 4 days before it is thawed out again.
Instead of drinking unpasteurized milk, stick to drinking UHT treated or pasteurized milk, also known as long-life milk. While all milk sold in shops is UHT or pasteurized, care should be exercised when buying directly from registered farmers’ markets, farm shops, or farms.
Undercooked or raw bean sprouts can lead to food poisoning. The warm, moist conditions required to grow sprouts promote the spread of contaminants. So, make sure to cook all sprouted seeds thoroughly until they’re steaming hot throughout before eating them.