10 foods eaten regularly in Jamaica that can cause you serious harm!

These food items are consumed on a daily basis by persons across Jamaica but many are oblivious to potential harms they can cause, some of which can be fatal.

You may be surprised to discover the potential dangers you make yourself susceptible to when you consume some of these foods.

Bear in mind that these foods are safe for consumption provided that excessive amounts are not consumed and they are prepared properly.

Check out our list below:

#10- Raw Eggs

dangers of eating raw eggsYes there are persons out there who actually eat eggs raw (great source of protein). Raw egg contains the protein Avidin which binds strongly with biotin( Vitamin B7) making it unavailable for use by the body.
So if you’re one of those protein thirsty fellas (gym fan) you may want to boil the egg, find an alternative or supplement with Biotin to make up for what is being lost.

Note: Avidin is denatured upon heating so don’t go throwing away those eggs now.


apple seeds are dangerous

#9- Apple/ Cherry

If you are a seed lover, these are two fruit seeds you don’t want to be eating. Their seeds both contain hydrogen cyanide (cyanide is bad) which can has adverse effects on us if the dose is right. Yes I know you’ve probably eaten these seeds before and you’re still alive, the answer for this is you didn’t eat enough, the more you intake the greater the risk.

The levels in cherries are higher than that in apples seeds but to be safe NO CHEWING or EATING these seeds.



lactose intolerance#8- Milk/Cheese/Dairy

That’s right milk and cheese is on our list. What is bun without a good slice of cheese at lunch time? or a ‘complete’ breakfast of milk and cornflakes(cereal) when you’re late for work or school and rushing out?

Here’s a fun fact for you about 75% of Jamaicans are lactose intolerant; meaning they will have adverse reaction to consuming it (Btw lactose is the main sugar in dairy). It’s even worse for Asians, between 90-100%. Let’s just face the facts these things are for babies, and Caucasians (White folk).



acrylamide toast bread toxic#7- Toast Bread

Acrylamide is formed when certain foods, carbohydrate and protein based, are heated. Acrylamide is linked to a number of cancers.


The longer the food is cooked the worse it is ( The darker the toast the more acrylamide)

Don’t worry there’s way more in french fries and potato chips but that wasn’t as surprising as toast.
Suggestions: Fresh bread maybe, or stick to light toast.



coffee can be dangerous#6- Coffee

Well we’ve all heard about caffeine and how it is is a stimulant so I wont spend long on this. Yes it keeps you up longer and makes you more alert but there are also negatives to consuming too much like anxiety, restlessness, dehydration to name a few.
Fact: Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world. To overdose on coffee however one has to consumer over 100 cups of coffee.
It is actually way higher in energy drinks(Red Bull, BOOO, Monter etc..)


cassava can be poisonous

#5- Cassava

Here’s another food that contains another cyanide compound (Linamarin). It is not harmful as is, but it becomes harmful when it is broken down in the body releasing cyanide.
The compound is very volatile therefore a simple methods such as draining and drying will remove almost all of it which makes safe for consumption.
So go ahead and eat that Bammy.

#4- Potatoeating potato can be dangerous

The only reason this is not number 1 is because potato poisoning is very rare. Consuming this tuber can in fact be fatal. Death by potato can be avoided by just observing.
Never, I repeat never eat a potato that has become green. It is an indication that the Solanine (glycoalkaloid) levels are high. Yes you guessed it Solanine is bad! It is fatal is small doses
For those who like to try new teas you do not want to make tea from the leaves of a potato. The levels in the leaves and stem are much higher than in the tuber because it is where the compound is produced.

#3- Ackeedangers of eating ackee

Again I will not spend too long on this. Jamaica is one of the very few places that eats this toxic fruit. Ackee contains Hypoglycin A which is toxic. The levels in the fruit are dangerous before the pod opens however is reduced significantly when the pod opens naturally.
Ackee is safe but if someone is impatient and/ hungry then they might get into some problems.
Note: Don’t ever eat the pod or Seed (Ripe or not),



dangers of fish

#2- Fish

For a country such as Jamaica surrounded by the water, fish is certainly in abundance. Some periods of the year eating certain fish may be a risky activity. They are not naturally toxic but they can carry ciguatoxin which are associated with coral reefs. The reason this is so high on the list is because this toxin is very toxic in low doses hence can be fatal.Main fish carriers: Baracuda, Parrot fish, Red Snapper, grouper, surgeonfish, sturgeon (Mainly Carnivorous and Omnivorous reef fish)


#1- Nutmegdangers of nutmeg

Gasps! Note this compiled list ranks  the foods not only by toxic effects only but I also considered popularity in Jamaica. The reason we don’t have countless reports of nutmeg poisoning is simply because it is used in small quantities to flavor food.
Consuming as little as a gram( 1tb spoon) of nutmeg can cause hallucinations convulsions, palpitations, nausea.
Fatal to some pets.It has nutritional benefits in small doses.


Written by Andrew Moore

Check out MMS Science Center HERE

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3 years ago

I guess the Massi and Himba, amongst many other pastoral/herding peoples in Africa, didn’t get the message, Blacks/Africans were lactose intolerant.

Daneilia Wallace
3 years ago

This is rubbish how can fish cause you harm that’s protein which your body needs how you not eat apples?cherry aka fruits this article is Bullshit who ever wrote this article is stupid yall need to get yall’s facts right damn the disrespect our food are the safest to eat we don’t usually get food poisoning cause we grow or food the right way not like America where you can get salmonella and all that bull crap damn the audacity of this article and i’m sure every Jamaican feel disrespected when people talk bad about us and our food I… Read more »

2 years ago

Rubbish… you need to get your facts straight, most of what u mentioned is eaten across the the world, its not just a jamaican thing. So why ascribe it to jamaica.