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Foods to Choose Chart

Don’t Let Your Food Make You Sick:
Food Safety Tips for Those at Increased Risk of Food-borne Illness
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Fruits and vegetables

  • Pasteurized juices
  • Fresh fruits/vegetables with no bruises, cuts, or mold
  • Frozen fruits/vegetables (except berries)
  • Cooked, pasteurized, or canned berries
  • Cooked vegetable or bean sprouts
  • Cooked or canned fruits or vegetables
  • Well-scrubbed produce
    Use a vegetable brush for rough surfaces like melon skins
  • Produce washed right before consuming (to reduce risk of mold)
  • Pre-washed, bagged greens that are well-refrigerated, consumed before the expiration date, and free of off odors and wilted leaves
  • Unpasteurized juices
  • Pre-cut, damaged or loose pieces of fruit (such as grapes off the stem)
  • All raw and frozen berries (they are hard to clean and get moldy quickly)
  • All raw vegetable sprouts and bean sprouts
    Avoid when eating out:
  • Buffet-style salad bars
  • Deli salads such as fruit, potato, egg or pasta salad made with raw fruit or vegetables
  • Salsas (unless pasteurized)
  • Raw fruits or vegetables (since you can’t be sure of safe food handling)
  • Baked potatoes wrapped in foil–unless served very hot, right after being cooked
  • Potatoes baked in foil that are not eaten immediately should be removed from the foil and stored in the refrigerator


  • Commercially packaged nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, soy)
  • Commercially packaged, roasted nuts
  • Almonds (all types are pasteurized now)
  • Freshly ground nut butters
  • Nuts in the shell (because of mold risk)
  • Unroasted nuts sold in bulk from bins

Meat, fish, poultry, soy

  • Pasteurized or boiled tofu
  • Meats cooked to these temperatures:
    (Insert thermometer into thickest part.)
  • Poultry 165° F
  • Ground meat (like hamburger) 160° F
  • Steaks and roasts 145° F
  • Egg dishes 160° F
  • Fish and Shellfish 145° F (firm opaque flesh, flakes easily)
  • Luncheon meats heated to 165° F
  • Well-done meat, cooked to order, served hot
  • Uncooked tofu (unless pasteurized )
  • Miso, tempeh and/or other fermented soy product
  • Raw or undercooked meat or fish, including: smoked salmon (lox), sushi, raw oysters, "Ahi" Tuna, sashimi (raw fish)
    When eating out avoid:
  • Meat prepared:
  • Luncheon meats (unless heated to 165° F)
  • Items kept warm under heat lamps

Milk, cheese, yogurt

  • Pasteurized milk
  • Cheese made from pasteurized milk
  • Yogurt made from pasteurized milk
  • Raw milk or yogurt made with raw milk
  • Cheese made from raw milk
  • Cheese with herbs or other added ingredients (dill, peppers)
  • Cheese with mold (such as blue cheese)
  • Unpasteurized cheese
    (Look for pasteurized versions of cheeses such as feta, brie.)


  • Well-cooked eggs (hard-boiled, scrambled)
  • Pasteurized shell eggs (sold in cartons next to regular eggs; can be used to safely prepare softer-style eggs)
  • Pasteurized liquid egg products (such as low cholesterol eggs, egg whites)
  • Eggs “over easy,” soft poached, soft boiled or “sunny side up”(unless pasteurized shell eggs are used)
  • Raw eggs or products made with raw eggs such as salad dressings, protein shakes and raw dough. Use pasteurized egg products for these foods instead.

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This page last updated on 03/24/2016

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