The culinary world is extremely colorful and diverse. Sashimi, fried chicken and a medium-rare steak are all types of food you have probably tried before. If you look closely at these three different foods, what do you notice about them? You will probably say that sashimi is made out of raw fish, fried chicken is cooked until crisp and the medium-rare steak is cooked halfway. This begs the question: Why are some foods okay to be eaten raw and others aren’t? Let’s discuss raw meat.
This question may unlock so many others in your mind. Why do we cringe when we see a pink and uncooked part of our roasted chicken leg? Why is it okay to eat sushi? Is it okay to eat raw eggs? The short answer is that raw meat has some pathogens that may be harmful to humans. There are some raw meat (such as that of fish) that have fewer of these pathogens, making them safer than others (like pork or chicken) to consume raw.
That is the short answer, continue reading to get the more detailed one!
Raw Meat: To Eat or Not To Eat? That Is the Question
If you are a foodie, you will naturally want to try all foods across different cuisines. However, you may want to look into what kind of meat you eat, and if it is safe to be eaten raw or not.
Which Meats Can Be Eaten Raw?
Depending on which country you are visiting, or which type of cuisine you want to try, there are different standards of which foods can be eaten raw. Sushi and sashimi are known the world over as an extremely delicious way to enjoy raw fish. While sushi has become more mainstream, other dishes like Steak tartare—which is a dish made of minced beef or horsemeat
flavored with spices and vegetables—is still something new that many people have yet to try.
Which Meats Should Be Cooked Through?
Pork and chicken fall under this category. This is because there are many pathogens like pork tapeworm, e-coli bacteria and salmonella that can be living in raw meats like these. Thankfully, pork and chicken are rarely served raw simply because they do not taste good eaten raw. However, pork may sometimes be served undercooked, putting people at risk of getting tapeworm, especially if the meat is not properly cleaned and prepared.
What About Half-Way Cooked Meat?
What about the rare or medium-rare steak we were talking about earlier? In the case of beef—extremely high quality cuts of steak to be exact—the pathogens that may be harmful to humans only sit on the surface of the steak. They will not be able to penetrate through to the denser, inner parts of the meat, which make it safe to sear the steak and enjoy it rare.
When it comes to eating raw meat, the verdict lies with the preparation. Preparation determines whether or not it is safe to consume. Hygiene conditions determine if the meal is prepared safely. The cooking skill of the cook or chef is a final factor in the verdict. This means that if you have never tried to prepare Fugu (puffer fish sushi) before, it may be safe to rely on the sushi chefs at your favorite sushi joint to prepare it for you to eat it without the risk of being poisoned.
If you are looking for a great way to enjoy any type of food, whether raw or not, Food Fire Knives is at your service! We look to help everyone enjoy the perfect private, in-home chef experience. We also provide Private Chef Catering and Cooking Classes for the adventurous cook who wants to eat raw meat. Book a private chef today!