World's Most Dangerous Foods

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Is the infamous fugu, a throat-choking octopi, or a maggot-filled cheese the riskiest thing you can eat abroad?

Monkey Brains, Asia

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Threat: Mad cow disease

This one is often the stuff of urban legend, with preparation purportedly involving harvesting the meat while the monkey is still alive. Princess Diana’s former butler says that he and Her Majesty were served the dish once in China, and pop star Jesse McCartney suffered the wrath of PETA this past spring after saying he ate it in Asia (he said he found it to be bland). Rumors persist that you can get it in China, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Prognosis: While it’s a slim chance, you could contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow, which causes dementia and progressive neurological deterioration before death. “The disease is transmitted through neural tissue, and the brain is the neural tissue,” says McLaughlin. “So if you’re eating that, that’s where the virus is.”

World's Most Dangerous Foods

Monkey Brains, Asia

Threat: Mad cow disease

This one is often the stuff of urban legend, with preparation purportedly involving harvesting the meat while the monkey is still alive. Princess Diana’s former butler says that he and Her Majesty were served the dish once in China, and pop star Jesse McCartney suffered the wrath of PETA this past spring after saying he ate it in Asia (he said he found it to be bland). Rumors persist that you can get it in China, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Prognosis: While it’s a slim chance, you could contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow, which causes dementia and progressive neurological deterioration before death. “The disease is transmitted through neural tissue, and the brain is the neural tissue,” says McLaughlin. “So if you’re eating that, that’s where the virus is.”

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