How Dangerous Is Eating Raw Meat?

For some people, the idea of eating raw meat makes them feel nauseous. For others, raw meat is a common part of their diet. But with so many warnings about undercooked meat, is this cooking method really safe? According to Healthline, the most common risk of eating raw meat is getting food poisoning. This can happen when you eat meat that has been contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Common pathogens that can cause food poisoning include Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, and headache. Symptoms often last several days and may require medical intervention depending on the pathogen. Cooking meat often kills these pathogens and significantly reduces your risk of getting food poisoning. People who are at a higher risk of getting food poisoning or developing more severe symptoms, like children, pregnant women, and older adults, should avoid raw meat. However, even healthy adults should consume raw meat with caution.

Can you eat raw meat safely?

There is always a risk when consuming raw meat. However, raw meat is a staple in many cultures around the world. Foods like sushi, tartare, and rare steak all contain pieces of raw meat. If you like to enjoy these or other raw dishes, there are ways to eat them with safety in mind. According to the NSW Government Food Authority, you should only eat raw meat if you know it is fresh. Only eat these dishes at well-established restaurants that can guarantee the meat is freshly butchered and prepared. You should eat raw meat as soon as possible after the animal has been slaughtered.

Raw meat should remain cold until it is served to you. If you purchase raw meat to consume at home, keep an insulated cooler in your car to store it until you get home. Then, you should immediately place the meat in a refrigerator until it is prepared. Raw meat should not have strange smells, colors, or markings. If anything seems off about the meat you have purchased or are about to eat, you should throw it away or request a new meal. Don't take any chances when it comes to this cuisine.