What happens when you eat raw meat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,” what happens when you eat raw meat?” We will also discuss how you can reduce the risks when eating raw meat. We will also discuss the precaution to take when cooking raw meat.

What happens when you eat raw meat?

Eating raw meat puts you at risk of food-borne illnesses that are collectively called Food poisoning. This is caused by foods that have been contaminated with toxins, parasites, viruses, and even bacteria. When an animal is being slaughtered, the intestines which contain bacteria can be nicked by accident causing it to spread to the whole meat.

Raw meat can contain pathogens such as Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli, Clostridium perfringens, and Salmonella. When you ingest food that has such pathogens, you develop symptoms. These symptoms can be abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache, high fever, and nausea.

Symptoms of food poisoning can go on even for a week while for others such as E.coli, the patient might show serious symptoms immediately. Children are most at risk because their digestive system has not fully developed. It is best to avoid eating it.

How can you reduce the risk if you prefer raw meat to cooked meat?

One way to reduce the risk is to avoid minced meat that has been prepacked. It is best to choose a steak or house ground meat. Minced meat is made from meats of different animals that have been ground. 

As for the steak, it can only be from one animal and has reduced surface area for contamination. You should do the same with pork and chicken. Chicken meat is more prone to salmonella contamination because its structures are porous making it easier for pathogens to penetrate the meat. Last

If you want to eat raw meat, go for raw fish. It is safer to eat raw fish than raw beef because fish handling is less than beef and also fish is frozen right away reducing the risk of pathogens.

The best way to reduce risk is by thorough cooking. When cooking your meat, cook them at a temperature of about 65 degrees for beef and pork. 72 degrees for ground meat and 75 degrees for poultry.

Does raw meat have any benefits?

No, there have not been any proven health benefits of eating raw meat. This is just a preferred way for people to eat raw or undercooked meat. Cooking is important in breaking down proteins making them chewable and digestible. 

There have been claims that meat that has been cooked has reduced mineral and vitamin content such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. This claim is not true. Cooking has a way of elevating minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper.

Eating raw meat is more of a risk than a benefit, you can never be sure whether safety measures were put in place while slaughtering the animal, or the storage condition of the animal throughout the transportation stage. It is best to thoroughly cook your meat until it changes from red pink color to a slightly brown color.

Which foods are eaten raw?


Sushi contains avocado, vegetables, and lean fish. Sushi contains anisakiasis bacteria that cause stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting. This food is not good for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and children. Raw fish might also contain mercury high levels such as bigeye tuna and swordfish. It is safe to avoid it.


Some people prefer having oysters raw, but they are prone to bacteria and viruses that are not safe for humans. Vibriosis is one of the viruses prone to Oysters. Hepatitis A can also be spread by Oysters putting your liver at risk. It is best to fully cook your oysters.

Meat tartare

Chicken tartare and steak are mainly eaten raw. They are sweet but their safety cannot be guaranteed because of Salmonella bacteria commonly found in chicken. 

What are the precautions to consider when cooking meat?

  • When cooking meat, a temperature of 75 degrees is aimed for. You can use the thermometer periodically to check
  • Cook your meat to the center. This applies to whole chicken, sausage, and minced meat. The final meat should not have a pink color.
  • Fish should be cooked until you can use a fork to fake it.
  • Care should be taken when incorporating raw eggs in your dishes like hollandaise and mayonnaise. Eggshells might contain bacteria.
  • For more details on how meat should be cooked. Click here


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “what happens when you eat raw meat?” We have also discussed foods that are eaten raw and how you can reduce the risks when eating raw meat.

Hope you find this article useful, in case of any questions, please let us know.




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