Food appraisal

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Food appraisal is an intrinsic property that occurs in NetHack, and is obtained by reading a blessed scroll of food detection or casting a spell of detect food when at Skilled or higher in divination spells. This intrinsic warns you when eating food that cause harmful effects and gives you the chance to stop eating or continue.


When eating a potentially harmful comestible, you will be given one of the warning messages in the messages section below, alongside a prompt that says Eat it anyway? [yn]. In the case of tins of harmful meat, e.g. tinned green slime, you will get a warning before opening the tin, and will not discard the tin if you choose to not eat it. After one warning, the intrinsic will disappear until the next time it is obtained Intrinsic food appraisal will warn you only once of harmful food; after the one warning you lose the intrinsic. Warnings will occur if eating it has the potential to harm you - if you are resistant to the detrimental effect of the food being eaten you will not get a warning and the intrinsic will not be lost.

The following warnings occur in order of priority:

Warned if: Example Not shown if you:
May be tainted very old corpses; corpses left by most undead creatures
May cause petrification Cockatrices, chickatrices, Medusa have petrification resistance
May cause sliming green slime are a green slime or wearing amulet of unchanging
May be rotten corpses or some comestibles of a certain age have sickness resistance
May be poisonous all poisonous monsters have poison resistance
May break a Monk's dietary conduct non-vegetarian comestibles are not a Monk
May be acidic all acidic monsters have acid resistance
May be rustproof (if polymorphed into a rust monster) rustproof metal items are not a rust monster
May break the vegan conduct non-vegan but vegetarian corpses or
animal-matter items (dragonhide/leather/wax/bone)
are eating other non-vegan comestibles (see Warning Bug below)
OR already broke conduct
May break the vegetarian conduct. meat comestibles already broke conduct or eating non-corpse meat comestibles (see Warning Bug below)

Food appraisal will not warn against the following harmful effects:

  • choking from over-eating
  • the instadeath from eating the corpse of a Rider
  • hallucination from eating certain corpses (such as yellow molds)
  • stunning effects from certain corpses (such as bats and stalkers)
  • corpses that would constitute cannibalism for your race
  • corpses that aggravate monsters (such as dogs and cats)
  • corpses that polymorph you (such as doppelgangers)
  • corpses that would give you a potentially unwanted intrinsic, such as teleportitis or lycanthropy

Food appraisal will also not warn you when eating non-corpse, non-tin comestibles such as an egg or a candy bar would break vegan and/or vegetarian conducts. When polymorphed to a form that can eat wax, bone, leather, or dragon scale items, you will be warned about breaking the vegan (for eating wax items) or vegetarian conducts (for the other materials) conducts, but will still not be warned for non-corpse comestibles.


Most food-related deaths are entirely avoidable; the Eating Corpses For Food and Intrinsics spoiler can warn you if a corpse is bad to eat. That being said if you have a blessed scroll and you aren't planning on using it for blanking, or preferably the food detection spell, it could assist in preventing YASD from mistakenly eating some foods.


You can recognize detrimental food.
You are viewing the food appraisal intrinsic via enlightenment.
Your <nose> starts to tingle and you smell food.
Your <nose> twitches then starts to tingle.<br?Your <nose> starts to tingle.
You read a blessed scroll of food detection, or cast the detect food spell at Skilled or better, and gained the food appraisal intrinsic; the exact message depends on where you are able to smell food if there is any elsewhere on the level.
Your <nose> stops tingling and your sense of smell returns to normal.
You were warned of detrimental food, using up the intrinsic.
This <food> smells like it could be tainted!
You were warned of potential food poisoning.
This <food> smells like it might be poisonous!
The food has a chance of being poisonous.
This <food> smells like it could be something very dangerous!
The food will cause petrification or sliming if consumed.
This <food> smells foul and unfamiliar to you.
The food will break vegan conduct if consumed.
This <food> smells unfamiliar to you.
The food will break vegetarian conduct if consumed.
This <food> smells rather acidic.
The food is acidic.
This <food> smells unhealthy.
You are a Monk, and the food will violate your dietary conduct.
This <food> smells disgusting to you right now.
You are polymorphed into a metallivore and trying to eat a rustproof item.

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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.