Bill Marler is a personal injury lawyer and food safety advocate that has spent more than 20 years handling food-borne illness cases.
In those decades, he has gone head to head with major food outlets, winning more than $600 million (R9 billion) for his clients.
In a recent article published in the Food Poison Journal, Bill used the wealth of experience under his belt to explain the 6 foods that he refuses to eat.
1. Pre-cut and pre-washed produce
“I avoid these like the plague,” said Bill, explaining that the more food is handle, the more it becomes tainted.
“Convenience is great but sometimes I think it isn’t worth the risk.”
Instead, he buys unwashed, uncut produce instead, and eats it within a few days to reduce the risk for deadly bug listeria, which can grow at refrigerator temperatures.
“There have been too many outbreaks to not pay attention to the risk of sprout contamination,” says the food poisoning expert.
“Those are products that I just don’t eat at all.”
3. Rare meat
“If it’s not cooked thoroughly to 160°F (71°C) throughout, it can cause poisoning by E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial illnesses,” he explains.
Unpasteurized or “raw” milk can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses and parasites.
“There’s no benefit big enough to take away the risk of drinking products that can be made safe by pasteurization.”
5. Raw or under-cooked eggs
As you might have picked up, Bill’s choices are centered around the cooking process.
“I think the risk of egg contamination is much lower today than it was 20 years ago for salmonella, but I still eat my eggs well-cooked.”
“Oysters are filter feeders, so they pick up everything that’s in the water,” he explains.
“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.”