5 Menu Items Most Likely to Contain Parasites


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Foodborne parasites are a fact of life. If you leave your wallet on a park bench, someone's gonna snatch it. And if you depend on a complex, multicellular anatomy, then whole armies of parasites have evolved to mooch off the resources.

The parasitic life is all about finding niches in the ecosystem and exploiting them big-time. And after billions of years mucking their way through blood vessels and intestines, you better believe they've gotten rather good at it. Untold billions are clamoring for a chance to get inside you -- and your next meal might just be their train ticket.

In this article, we'll look at a few menu items with a high probability for parasites. By no means does this mean you're guaranteed a belly full of worms with each one, so don't get your hopes up. Proper food storage, fresh ingredients and sanitary food preparation conditions vastly decrease your chances of food contamination.

So tuck in your napkin and for God's sake wash your hands, because we're about to take a close look at what's for dinner.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.