The Health Risks Posed by Raw Meat

Published By Kevin Turner

Last Updated Mar 1, 2023

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    Dishes with raw meat have become more and more popular lately. And many restaurants and food lovers (like myself) view them as a special treat. But eating raw meat can sometimes* be bad for your health and the risks should not be ignored. This article gives a general overview of the health risks of eating raw meat and talks about safe ways to handle and cook meat to reduce those risks.

    The Dangers of Raw Meat

    There are a number of health risks that come with eating raw or undercooked meat.

    The most common is foodborne illness that you’re at risk of getting from raw steak and which can be caused by bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter, as well as parasites like Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella. These organisms can be found in raw meat, and they can make people very sick.

    Food poisoning can cause mild to severe symptoms such as:

    1. nausea,
    2. vomiting,
    3. diarrhea,
    4. abdominal pain,
    5. fever, and
    6. becoming dehydrated.

    In the worst cases, foodborne illness can even kill (especially in young children, older adults, and people whose immune systems aren’t as strong).

    It’s important to remember that the risk of getting sick from meat depends on what kind of meat is being eaten. For example, pork and poultry are more likely to get sick from contamination than beef and lamb.

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    Common ways to cook raw meat

    Raw meat dishes like steak tartare in France and sushi in Japan are popular in many different cultures – obviously both dishes are also insanely popular here in the US also. 

    Important to remember that not all of them pose the same level of risk.

    For instance, sushi-grade fish is usually handled and cooked in a way that makes contamination less likely. But there may be a higher risk of getting sick from other raw meat dishes, especially if they are not cooked and handled properly.

    How to handle and cook food safely

    It’s important to use safe handling and cooking methods to reduce the risks of eating raw meat. Keep it away from other foods – especially those that will be eaten raw, like fruits and vegetables. Raw meat should be kept in the fridge at 40°F or lower, and it should be thawed in the fridge or under cold running water.

    It is important to make sure that raw meat reaches a safe internal temperature when cooking it. This temperature depends on what kind of meat is being cooked, but it is usually between 145°F and 165°F for beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. With the help of a meat thermometer, you can make sure that the meat is cooked to a safe temperature.

    Good hygiene and sanitation are just as important as safe handling and cooking when it comes to preventing foodborne illness. This means washing hands and surfaces often and cleaning and sanitizing kitchen tools and utensils properly.

    Even though raw meat dishes are trendy… they pose major health risks that shouldn’t be ignored.

    If you want to minimize your chance of getting sick – it is essential to follow safe handling and cooking practices when preparing and consuming raw meat. By taking these steps you can safely enjoy the different tastes and textures of raw meat dishes without risking their health.

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    Kevin Turner
    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of thegrillingmaster.com. I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you. You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional to grill great food!

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of thegrillingmaster.com

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

    You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional. 

    Send me a message and let's connect on Twitter here.

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