What happens if you eat raw beef?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “what happens if you eat raw beef?” We will also discuss if it is safe to eat raw and undercooked meat and how to properly cook a piece of meat.

What happens if you eat raw beef?

Eating raw beef or undercooked meat is not recommended, as you can get a serious infection caused by different bacteria found in these ingredients, such as

  • Salmonella.
  • Escherichia coli.
  • Listeria.
  • Campylobacter.

Also, if you consume raw beef you will experience unwanted symptoms caused by the bacterial infection. Taking into consideration different guidelines, you will have no trouble when eating meat.

However, this has not stopped us from eating dishes that contain raw meat, like kibbe, carpaccio, and raw liver. Although these dishes are delicious, that does not mean that they are completely safe to eat.

It is important that you cook meat at a minimum temperature of 145°F, and you also need to let it sit for 3 minutes before starting to eat it. 

What dishes are prepared with raw meat?

Despite the risks of eating raw meat, humans have developed different dishes that contain this ingredient, and as delicious as they can be, it is not completely safe to eat them. Some of the most common dishes prepared with raw beef are

  • Carpaccio.  It is an Italian dish made with raw beef cut into thin slices of sirloin, it is also marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and vinegar.
  • Kitfo. A common dish of Ethiopia consists of raw minced beef seasoned with chili powder and clarified butter.  
  • Koi soi. In a popular Thailand recipe, the raw beef is marinated with a mixture of various ingredients, which includes fish sauce and lemon juice.
  • Tartare. It can easily be the most popular raw beef dish in the entire world, and it can be prepared in many different ways. It is served with a raw egg yolk on top, a toast is the perfect pairing for this dish.   

Even when these dishes sound appetizing, the risks associated with eating raw beef do not disappear.  

Can lemon juice be used with raw beef?

The reason why lemon juice is used to marinate raw beef is that its acidity causes a phenomenon that emulates the cooking of the meat. However, this method does not eliminate all of the harmful bacteria found in the meat, as it does not raise the temperature.

Raw meat contains protein, which in contact with lemon juice will experience denaturation, which causes the meat to become softer and juicier. It also gives the brown coloration of cooked meat.

Bacteria cannot survive in an environment with such a high temperature, this is why meat should be cooked at a temperature of 145°F. So, lemon juice is not enough to fully cook your meat and can be risky for your health.

What are the risks of eating raw beef?

As we have already discussed, raw meat carries different bacteria that cause severe harm to the human body. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain bacteria strains found in cattle can lead to food poisoning.

You will start to notice symptoms after several days of eating contaminated beef, the symptoms related to this condition are annoying, some of them are

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fever.

These symptoms will go away after several days, it is important you keep yourself hydrated during this illness. Also, if you start to notice the following signs, it is time to seek medical help to prevent serious damage.

  • Bloody stools.
  • Fever higher than 102°F.
  • Frequent vomiting.
  • Dehydration.
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days.

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Who should avoid eating raw beef?

The truth is that raw beef is not recommended because of the risks associated with its consumption, but certain population groups can experience more severe symptoms, the following groups must avoid eating raw beef.

  • People with compromised immune systems.
  • Children younger than 5 years.
  • People older than 70 years.
  • Pregnant women, it has been proven that some bacteria found in raw meat can cause miscarriage. 

How to reduce the risk of eating raw beef?

If you still want to try some of the dishes prepared with raw beef, you must take into consideration certain factors. First, only eat fresh raw meat, when exposed to high temperatures, bacteria will duplicate their number rapidly.

Only buy raw meat from serious establishments, butchers should handle raw beef carefully. Finally, you also need to prepare and eat the meat as soon as possible.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “what happens if you eat raw beef?” We have also discussed what is the proper method to cook meat and what are the risks of eating raw or undercooked beef.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.






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