Can beef filet be eaten raw? (Possible risks)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can beef filet be eaten raw,” and discuss whether eating raw beef filets causes Salmonellosis and the precautions that must be followed while cooking beef.

Can beef filet be eaten raw?

Yes, beef filet can be eaten raw, but it is not recommended. Raw beef is highly susceptible to contamination by pathogens that can cause foodborne illnesses, making it a potential source of health risks.

Among the most commonly found pathogens associated with raw beef are Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes.

While many nations predominantly consume beef after thorough cooking, there are certain countries where raw beef dishes hold cultural significance. For instance, Korea and Japan offer yukhoe and beef sashimi, respectively, while Western countries are known for dishes like beef tartare. (1)

How beef can get contaminated?

Meat becomes vulnerable to contamination throughout various stages, including hide removal, evisceration, processing, packaging, storage, and distribution at both slaughterhouses and retail locations.

The microorganisms that infiltrate the meat not only accelerate spoilage but also pose a significant risk of transmitting foodborne illnesses to consumers. (2)

Can eating raw beef filets cause foodborne illness?

Yes, eating raw beef filets can cause foodborne illness.

Among the primary bacterial culprits responsible for causing foodborne illnesses, Salmonella species, Campylobacter species, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 are recognized for their ability to inhabit the intestinal tracts of farm animals.

This can lead to the contamination of meat from cattle and poultry during the slaughtering process. As meat undergoes subsequent processing, these bacteria-laden products can taint processing equipment.

Consequently, this equipment becomes an ongoing source of contamination for subsequently processed meat items. Human health can be compromised if individuals intentionally or inadvertently consume raw or inadequately cooked meat.

Instances of outbreaks related to human salmonellosis resulting from the consumption of raw beef have been documented in the past. (3)

What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

Yes, eating raw beef filets can cause food poisoning. Ingesting contaminated beef can result in sickness, characterized by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. These effects stem from consuming food that has been contaminated either by chemical substances or by microorganisms and the toxins they produce. (4)

What methods can improve food safety for raw beef?

Methods of nonthermal decontamination can be used to enhance the safety of raw beef. These techniques work by neutralizing harmful microorganisms without the application of heat, preserving the nutritional content and favorable attributes of the food.

Some of these methods for deactivating foodborne pathogens without heat include UV light-emitting diodes (LEDs), γ-irradiation, electron beam irradiation, high hydrostatic pressure processing, pulsed electric field treatment, hypochlorous acid water (HAW), hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, ozone, and lactic acid (LA). (1)

To avoid contamination maintain hygiene by designating a single cutting board or plate for handling raw meat and poultry while using a separate one for items like produce and bread that won’t undergo cooking.

After handling each meat and poultry item, cleanse your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water. (5)

Is raw beef healthier than cooked beef?

The process of roasting and grilling exhibited minimal impact on the final product’s vitamin B12 content when compared to raw meat. In contrast, the fried product demonstrated approximately a 32% decrease in cobalamin content compared to that of raw meat.

The vitamin E content in both raw and cooked beef remained relatively consistent. Cooking resulted in a loss of vitamin E ranging from 33% to 44% of the initial content in the meat. Similarly, for vitamin D, cooking led to a loss of 35% to 42% of the original content.

While the content of vitamins E and D in beef is relatively low and holds limited nutritional significance, it’s essential to note that beef serves as a notable dietary source of vitamin B12. (6)

What are the health benefits of beef consumption?

Consumption of red meat, cooked or raw, makes a valuable contribution to the intake of essential vitamins and minerals crucial for maintaining health. Acting as a substantial protein source, it delivers approximately 20 g/100 g in the case of beef consumption. 

Recent findings indicate that adopting a diet rich in protein (such as lean red meat) and low in carbohydrates, while carefully managing energy intake, can promote weight loss and weight maintenance more effectively than a diet with similar energy content but lower in protein.

This effect is attributed to the satiating nature of protein and its favorable impact on the development of lean muscle mass in humans. Additionally, modest increases in protein consumption from red meat have demonstrated the ability to reduce blood pressure without concurrent elevation of blood lipids.

Red meat, particularly, stands out as a notable source of haem iron in comparison to poultry and fish. It holds a distinctive role as the primary dietary contributor of vitamin B12, providing over two-thirds of the recommended daily intake in just a 100 g serving. (7) 

Other FAQs about Beef that you may be interested in.

Can wagyu beef be frozen?

Can you add beef bouillon to chicken broth?

Can you air fry beef kabobs?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “Can beef filet be eaten raw,” and discussed other questions related to the subject, such as can eating raw beef filets cause Salmonellosis, and what precautions that must be followed while cooking beef.

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PARK, Sangeun; PARK, Eunyoung; YOON, Yohan. Comparison of nonthermal decontamination methods to improve the safety for raw beef consumption. Journal of Food Protection, v. 85, n. 4, p. 664-670, 2022.


GEBEYEHU, Daniel Teshome; ALEMU, Biruk; BELETE, Gemechu. The habit, choice, intention, and perception of raw beef consumers on raw beef-eating: the health risk management perspective. BMC nutrition, v. 8, n. 1, p. 1-12, 2022.


Hennekinne, J.-A., Herbin, S., Firmesse, O., & Auvray, F. European Food Poisoning Outbreaks Involving Meat and Meat-based Products. Procedia Food Science, 5, 93–96. 2015.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. Foods That Can Cause Food Poisoning 2023.


BENNINK, M. R.; ONO, K. Vitamin B12, E and D content of raw and cooked beef. Journal of Food Science, v. 47, n. 6, p. 1786-1792, 1982.


MCAFEE, Alison J. et al. Red meat consumption: An overview of the risks and benefits. Meat science, v. 84, n. 1, p. 1-13, 2010.