Can Eating Uncooked Rice Hurt You?

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Although there are some diets that advocate eating raw rice, uncooked rice can be harmful because if it contains Bacillus cereus or lectin. Eating uncooked or undercooked rice infected with these substances can cause food poisoning.

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium found in different foods, such as unpasteurized milk, fish and rice. As a probiotic food additive in animal feed, this bacterium may be useful. In humans, it can cause food poisoning that presents negative side effects or gastrointestinal problems. Eating undercooked or raw rice, which is infected with this bacterium, can cause symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The symptoms usually manifest within hours of eating this food.

Lectin is a protein commonly found in legumes and grains. Lectin is a natural insecticide that can also cause food poisoning if ingested in undercooked foods like rice and beans. The symptoms of lectin poisoning are similar to those associated with Bacillus cereus.