In this brief guide, we will answer the question “can you eat bacon raw?” We will also discuss the risks of eating raw bacon and how to cook bacon
Can you eat bacon raw?
No, you can not eat bacon raw, eating raw bacon poses a lot of health risks including food poisoning. Even though bacon is taken through a process to verify that it is safe to eat and is bacterial, the way it has been stored still affects its safety.
Moreover, Raw bacon is not easy to chew or digest. The human digestive system is not made in such a way that it can digest flesh. The digestive enzymes do not hydrolyze tough compounds.
Eating raw bacon can cause bacterial infections due to parasites that might be available in the food. You might have abdominal cramps and other symptoms. Eating undercooked or raw bacon is discouraged by nutritionists.
As for undercooked bacon, it still has a pink color. A sufficiently cooked bacon has a red-brown color from the cooking process.
What is bacon?
Bacon is a cured or smoked part of a pig’s side after the spare ribs have been removed. Some are removed from the portion of the loin such as Canadian bacon making them leaner.
Bacon is cured by dipping it in a solution of sugar, nitrates, and salts and sometimes smoked. Bacon contains a lot of fats that make it tender and crispy when cooked. In terms of meat to fat ratio, The meat is two-thirds to half.
There are different bacon varieties with different flavors such as mesquite, maple, and apples added. You can also find bacon that is low in sodium and fat or made from another animal such as Turkey Bacon.
The taste of bacon is influenced by many factors including how and what the pig was fed, its breed, how the bacon was cut from the pig, and the curing and processing process.
Generally, bacon has a taste of combined flavors of smoky notes, fatty, sweet, and salt at the same time.
What are the risks of eating raw Bacon?
By eating raw bacon, you risk having a parasite found in bacon called Trichinella. This worm infects pork especially when it is raw. Manufacturers simply take the meat through a process of smoking and curing which does not guarantee that the parasite has been killed.
To make it less likely to be attacked by this parasite, some manufacturers add nitrites and salt to the meat. However, you would never know which companies did it.
Salts also reduce the content of water such that bacteria would not be able to survive therefore inhibiting bacterial growth. Clostridium botulinum is also inhibited by Nitrites.
Other bacterias that can contaminate raw bacon include Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter, Toxoplasmosis gondii, and Staphylococcus aureus. Cross-contamination can occur at any stage even after the food was first treated by the manufacturer therefore to stay safe it is better to thoroughly cook bacon.
Precooked bacon is only slightly heated before packaging, This does not mean it is safe. At curing, some flavor enhancers are added that are not meat known as hydrolyzed proteins which can be a source of bacteria.
Lastly, processed bacon contains additives added such as nitrites and nitrates which upon being heated on high heat, they form nitrosamines, a compound known to be carcinogenic.
Moreover, overcooking the meat releases heterocyclic and hydrocarbons which are also not safe. It is best to balance heat when cooking bacon.
How do you cook bacon?
Bacon is cooked in the oven especially if it is a huge batch and there is time. To cook bacon in the oven, place it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven while still cold then heat the oven to 350 degrees until the meat attains your preferred crispness.
Bacon strips are microwaved for burgers or BLT. To microwave your bacon first line paper towels in the oven and add the strip ensuring they do not overlap and fold the paper towel to cover it.
Skillet is the best method for making up to 10 bacon strips. First thing is to remove the bacon from the freezer and the packaging material and allow it to sit at room temperature.
After this, add the bacon strips to the pan and use medium heat to cook the bacon for 12 minutes until they are ready.
For details on other bacon recipes. Click here
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “can you eat bacon raw?” We have also discussed what bacon is and how to cook it.
Hope you find this blog useful, in case of any questions, please let us know.