Raw or undercooked foods, e.g. meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, are high-risk foods, as there is no or inadequate heat treatment to eliminate the microorganisms present that can pose risks to human health. Common symptoms of illnesses caused by eating food contaminated by bacteria or viruses include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. As for parasites, some can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms.
Raw or undercooked foods are also associated with the risk of 'superbugs'. They are microorganisms that have developed antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to stop a wide range of antimicrobial agents, antibiotics for example, from working against them. AMR is a serious public health threat. While cooking can kill 'superbugs', raw or undercooked foods are more likely to carry microorganisms including 'superbugs' that can be transferred to humans through food intake.
Whether or not 'superbugs' can cause illnesses, they may transfer their antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria inside the human body, therefore affecting the effectiveness of future use of antibiotics when needed.
Examples of Common High-risk Foods