Raw or undercooked foods are high-risk foods, as there is no or inadequate heat treatment to eliminate the microorganisms present that can pose risks to human health. Susceptible populations should be particularly careful.
Raw or undercooked food may also carry a "superbug" risk. "Superbugs" generally refer to microorganisms that have developed antimicrobial resistance and have the ability to inhibit a variety of antimicrobial agents, such as antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to public health. Cooking kills "superbugs" in food, while raw or undercooked food is prone to microbes, including "superbugs" that can infect humans through the ingested route.
Whether these "superbugs" are pathogenic or not, they may transfer drug-resistant genes to other bacteria in the human body. When we use antibiotics to treat diseases in the future, the efficacy of the drugs may be affected.
|Foods to avoid||Safer alternatives|
Fish served raw / undercooked(e.g. sushi, sashimi, smoked salmon)
|Thoroughly cooked fish; smoked fish and precooked fish reheated thoroughly; canned fish|
|All other raw / undercooked seafood (e.g. oysters, scallops, shrimps, cuttlefish)||Thoroughly cooked seafood; smoked seafood and precooked seafood reheated thoroughly; canned seafood|
|Eggs||Eggs served raw or undercooked (unhardened whites and yolks, e.g. sunny-side-up eggs, scrambled eggs)||Fully cooked eggs|
Salad and sandwich dressings or desserts made with raw eggs (e.g. Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, puddings)
|Salad and sandwich dressings or desserts containing no raw eggs or made with pasteurised eggs|
|Meat||Raw or undercooked meat and offal (e.g. congees served with undercooked minced beef / pork liver, partially cooked steak)||Thoroughly cooked meat and offal|
|Cold meat and meat products (e.g. ham, sausages, pate)||Thoroughly cooked cold meat and meat products|
|Dairy products||Soft cheeses (e.g. Feta, Brie, Camembert), and blue cheeses (e.g. Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort) made from raw milk||Hard cheeses, (e.g. Cheddar), and cheeses made from pasteurised milk, (e.g. sliced cheeses, cheese spread)|
|Vegetables||Ready-to-eat raw vegetables (e.g. prepackaged salad vegetables, seed sprouts, raw greens in sandwiches)||Thoroughly washed and cooked fresh vegetables|