Foods to Avoid

If you are at greater risk of foodborne illness, you are advised not to eat:

  • Raw or under cooked meat or poultry.
  • Raw fish, partially cooked seafood (such as shrimp and crab), and refrigerated smoked seafood.
  • Raw shellfish (including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops) and their juices.
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk and products made with raw milk, like yogurt and cheese.
  • Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, such as Feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheeses (such as such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco).
  • Raw or undercooked eggs or foods containing raw or under cooked eggs, including certain homemade salad dressings (such as Caesar salad dressing), homemade cookie dough and cake batters, and homemade eggnog.
  • NOTE: Most pre-made foods from grocery stores, such as Caesar dressing, pre-made cookie dough, or packaged eggnog are made with pasteurized eggs.
  • Unwashed fresh vegetables, including lettuce/salads.
  • Unpasteurized fruit or vegetable juices (these juices will carry a warning label).
  • Hot dogs, luncheon meats (cold cuts), fermented and dry sausage, and other deli-style meats, poultry products, and smoked fish — unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Salads (without added preservatives) prepared on site in a deli-type establishment, such as ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad.
  • Unpasteurized, refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, bean, or any other sprout).

For more information or to order free copies of any of the booklets for at-risk audiences, go to www.fda.gov/educationresourcelibrary. Apply the filters for Food Safety, Consumers/General Public, Orderable Hardcopies, and scroll to the title of the booklet you want, then follow the prompts to order.