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Other Dangerous Foods in the World

Last week we told you about the fugu fish, probably the most famous dish from menus in restaurants all over the world that also has a deadly potential. But the list of dangerous foods is way longer and it’s worth a bit more exploring, right?

Jamaica is the home of the so-called „ackee”, a fruit that is related to lychee, but it can be quite harmful to the human body if it’s not eaten when fully ripe – and even then without the seeds! – since it contains hypoglycin, a natural toxin. In 2011 there were 35 registered cases of ackee poisonings and, in general, it seems that 1 out of 1.000 people has this problem in the Caribbean.

In Iceland you can find „hakara” – a food from Greenland made of shark meat that isn’t all that fresh. The sharks are curated for about six months and the dish is served as thin slices, accompanied by rye bread. But the shark has no organ similar to the kidney, so it doesn’t filter out toxins, which means that they remain in its tissues.

Korea is the place where you could enjoy „sannakji” – an octopus that is eaten raw, but you have to be extremely careful and chew thoroughly, because its suction cups might still have a good grip even after the animal is no longer alive. Believe it or not, but about 6 people die every year while eating this, basically choking on it.

Manioc, a root of a plant in South America contains a substance that turns into cyanide when the root is eaten raw. Unfortunately, in 2005 there were 27 deaths in the Philippines because of this. Otherwise, it can be safely eaten if boiled, fried, baked, grilled.

Well, if we were to look at the bigger picture, it seems that the secret for avoiding a lot of the poisoning cases (except for actually not eating anything dangerous) is properly cooking them. And those who manage restaurant kitchens should make sure that they have professional equipment that work properly and leave nothing to chance.

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