Why Do Kebabs Make Me Feel Sick?

Kebabs are an amazing food and although they’re not going to be mistaken for health food they certainly tend to be healthier than most fast food options due to not being deep fried or dripping with fat or preservatives. That said, kebabs are hardly health food and

It’s not hard to see why kebabs in general, and Doner kebabs in particular, have become so popular worldwide in recent years. The food is delicious, it’s a hot snack, and many people prefer it to common fast food choices. But unfortunately for some people, as good as the kebabs taste, kebabs make them feel sick. Why would this be?

There are a few major problems that might be the cause of this unfortunate situation. Read on to find why a kebab might make you feel sick, so you can figure out the core issue and enjoy future kebabs without issue.

Doner Kebab
Because following this up with a stomach ache is a right shame. Picture used with creative commons permission By AleGranholm – Kebab auf flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68965097.

Reasons Kebabs Might Make You Feel Sick

There’s no inherent reason that a kebab should upset your stomach or make you feel sick. When properly prepared, following all health codes, there’s no reason that a kebab should consistently cause issues, but there are various factors that can affect digestion. If you feel sick after eating a kebab, there are a few likely culprits. Let’s take a look at them.

The Kebab Spices

A common problem can be with the spices that are used in making the kebabs. In some recipes they’re not spicy, but in others they are. Even if not spicy per se, the number and amount of spices in some mixtures can sometimes be too strong for some people’s stomachs. This is particularly true if you’re not used to eating heavily spiced food.

If you’re not used to it, your stomach can have a hard time digesting the spices, and that can lead to nausea and upset stomach, and in some extreme cases even vomiting. This is especially true if you’re completely new to eating kebabs and eat a lot very quickly. The term “kebab hangover” is in the Urban Dictionary, so there can be some weight there.

Also, keep in mind that different kebab shops may use different providers of kebab meat and different spice combos. Different spices, different ingredients means that the meat from one kebab shop doesn’t affect you negatively at all, while the spice combo from another makes your stomach churn.

The Kebabs Were Improperly Stored

Another common problem is that the meat in kebabs might not be properly stored. With kebabs the rules around how to handle the meat, prepare it, and serve it are very strict. The kebab should be completely frozen before cooking, and ideally all of it is sold the day it is taken out of the freezer.

Any leftover kebab needs to be properly have cooked meat cut off and stored, while the kebab that was still frozen or not fully cooked must be put in a cold commercial refrigerator.

Any kebab not stored by day two is to be thrown away because it won’t be safe to serve after that. If the refrigerator isn’t cold enough, if the kebab was re-frozen then thawed, or if unfortunately the store you bought from isn’t 100% honest or up to code that could easily explain the issue as kebab meat, like any other meat, can get bacteria and other problems when too old even if cooked.

Low Quality Kebab Meat

Another problem that can make kebabs make you feel sick is if the quality of the kebab is very low. This is especially true if you buy your kebabs from a place that doesn’t have very high standards or tend to buy cheaper due to budget.

Not every kebab meat supplier is the same and the quality of a kebab can be from whether it’s always same day versus day old, what the fat levels are in the kebab meat, and what bread and fillings are paired with it and what the quality of those are.

If you ever had spinach with a sandwich and saw the spinach had black wilting on it, you know how that can spoil the entire thing. Same applies to the condiments and extras that go with a kebab.

As for fat levels in a kebab: they’re not all the same. Some are made to be as lean as possible, relying more heavily on lamb or white meat-type fowl while others are more like a ground sausage in texture which also means a lot more fat.

Too much fat, especially in a huge one-time dose, can not only be bad for you but it can cause digestive issues. If you have eaten kebabs before and had no issues but are suddenly finding problems in a new place or city, that could be the issue. Or if you used to order from one place and then you started having issues, ask them if they have changed suppliers recently or if anything like this has taken place because that might be the change that caused your stomach issues with your formerly favorite kebab place.

Food Allergy

Finally, the issue might be allergy. This could be because of a spice, a special topping or seasoning ingredient that you are allergic to, or if you have a minor nut or peanut allergy one kebab place might season with some peanut sauce or other flavor that has ingredients you react to, while another kebab place does not.

This hidden food allergy of some kind could easily be a reason you end up eating a kebab and then not feeling well. This doesn’t just have to be a peanut sauce or oil but it could be cross contamination. I have family members, for example, who are allergic to seafood and if they get a meal that was cooked in the same pan where seafood was cooked earlier, they get violently ill.

You might have a more minor version that causes the same issues, in which case you need to be careful of where you eat kebabs, or if this happens every time, it might be one of the main ingredients is a no-go and that’s just one culinary choice you have to do without.

In Conclusion

Kebabs are a wonderful snack and it truly is a shame if you can’t enjoy them. The reasons above are the normal reasons why a person might not react well to them. If you really love the Doner Kebab it’s worth trying one from two different locations to see if it is really kebab-based or location based. An allergy test is the next place to look.

There are multiple reasons why a kebab just might not agree with you, and it’s important to get to the bottom of what the cause might be, especially if you want or need kebabs to be at least an occasional part of your normal diet.

Other Kebab Articles You May Love