While some dangerous foods are delicacies we most likely won't come into contact with in the United States, others are lurking behind our kitchen cabinets or inside our refrigerators. Case in point: Insider's roundup of the world's most dangerous foods, as informed by Keith Kantor, nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking Program. Read on below for the poisonous, unhygienic, or downright unhealthy foods that don't deserve a place in your kitchen (or should at least be consumed with caution):
Cherry pits: Believe it or not, cherry pits or seeds are actually poisonous. "Spit out your cherry seeds because they contain the poisonous compound hydrogen cyanide," said Kantor. The same goes for other stone fruits like peaches, plums, and apricots. "But don't worry about it too much," Insider adds. "Hydrogen cyanide is a poison, yes, but you'd have to eat a ton of cherry seeds before it would kill you."
Alfalfa sprouts: This seemingly healthy garnish actually serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. "Over the past two decades, there have been 30 separate foodborne illness outbreaks associated with the consumption of sprouts, including salmonella and E. coli," writes Insider. Sprinkle them on your burger, sandwich, or salad with caution.
Hot dogs: As a highly processed meat, hot dogs are considered a Group 1 carcinogen (along with bacon, ham, and sausage). They're also the number one cause of choking-related injuries in children under 3, reports John Hopkins Medicine. Consider opting for a burger at your next barbecue.
Shellfish: The sheer amount of shellfish allergies makes lobster, crab, oysters, and the like some of the deadliest foods. "Undercooked or raw shellfish is particularly dangerous because they can absorb microbes [and] harmful bacteria from the sea," adds Kantor. "They should always be cooked. Beware especially of raw oysters."
Puffer fish: While this freshwater fish is banned in the United States (for good reason), fugu, or puffer fish, is "one of the most poisonous foods in the world," writes the publication. "Unless it's cooked exactly right, the puffer fish is 1200 times more deadly than cyanide."