5 of the most toxic foods

Could your next meal poison you? Read on…


Kidney beans

There’s a good reason for playing it safe and buying your beans in a tin – if you don’t, then there’s no shortcut to safety. They must be boiled for at least ten minutes. Doing this gets rid of the toxin phytohaemagglutinin, which causes severe nausea and vomiting if you skip this step and throw them straight into a slow cooker.


A sprinkle on your spinach is delicious – but large doses of nutmeg can cause myristicin poisoning, and in some cases this is fatal. The spice causes headaches and nausea and, in if taken in large doses, hallucinations. But what constitutes a high dose? That depends on the individual. A two-year-old boy died 24 hours after eating two whole nutmegs.


Don’t leave it hanging around before you eat it and if you’re reheating last night’s rice, make sure it’s piping hot. Rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. The spores can survive cooking and the longer the rice is left at room temperature before you consume it, the more bacteria these spores will produce. Symptoms include sickness and diarrhoea for one to five hours after eating.


Three out of four shop-bought chickens tested positive for the food poisoning bug campylobacter in a 2015 study published by the Food Standards Agency. Thorough cooking kills the bug, yet 280,000 Brits a year are still affected by it.

Brazil nuts

Dubbed the world’s most radioactive food, Brazil nuts emit over 6,600 pCi/kg radiation. The good news? They are also rich in anti-ageing selenium, and you only need just one or two nuts a day to get a supplement-equivalent dose – but a lot more than that to cause radioactive damage in your body.

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