A raw deal.
Have you ever had food poisoning? It can be one of the worst feelings in the world. The all-too-common ailment arises when someone eats something that has been contaminated by an excess of bacteria or other toxins. And the results aren’t pretty, most commonly associated with vomiting, diarrhea and painful cramps.
Thankfully, lawyer Bill Marler is here to help. Having worked on food lawsuits for nearly 25 years, he’s come across hundreds of cases, and won more than $600 million for his clients, in suits involving food poisoning. Needless to say, he’s seen a lot and is even part of an ongoing case against Chipotle over it’s E. coli outbreak last year.
With that kind of experience under his belt, the Washington-based lawyer says there are some foods he simply will not touch anymore out of his numbers-backed fear that snacking on these otherwise delicious offerings could send him, or you, straight to the bathroom. Or worse, the emergency room.
Marler blames climate change for this one, saying warmer waters equal more bacteria. “Oysters are filter feeders, so they pick up everything that’s in the water. If there’s bacteria in the water it’ll get into their system, and if you eat it you could have trouble,” he told the Food Poison Journal. I’ve seen a lot more of that over the last five years than I saw in the last 20 years.”
Raw, Rare, Or Undercooked Meat
“If it’s not cooked thoroughly to 160°F throughout, it can cause poisoning by E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial illnesses,” he said.
Precut/Prewashed Fruits and Vegetables
“Convenience is great but sometimes I think it isn’t worth the risk,” he says, explaining that the more even food is handled, even pre-washed food, the more dangerous it becomes.
“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.”
Unpasteurized Milk and Juices
“There’s no benefit big enough to take away the risk of drinking products that can be made safe by pasteurization,” he says.
“There have been too many outbreaks to not pay attention to the risk of sprout contamination,” Marler says. “Those are products that I just don’t eat at all,” unless cooked.