World's Most Dangerous Foods
Ackee Plant, Jamaica
Threat: “Jamaican vomiting sickness”
This red, pearlike fruit looks lovely on a platter, but make sure it’s been peeled and cut up correctly before you take a bite. Only the inner, yellow parts are safe to eat, while the red parts and little black bits can actually be deadly. Luckily, that’s pretty rare—Jamaicans eat this fruit a lot, and it’s often sold canned (you can even find cans in some parts of the U.S.). On the bright side, the safe parts of the ackee are high in protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamin A. It’s part of the national dish of ackee and saltfish, in which the fruit is sautéed with onions.
Prognosis: Eating the entire ackee can result in what is known as “Jamaican vomiting sickness,” which can also include seizures or even fatal hypoglycemia. “It bottoms out your blood sugars,” says McLaughlin. Patients may get treated with activated charcoal, IV fluids, and maybe even a breathing machine.