Can you eat Raw Red Meat?

In this brief guide, we will address the question, “Can you eat raw meat?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like the health risks associated with the consumption of raw meat. 

Can you eat Raw Red Meat?

When talking specifically about raw red meat, you should not consume it. This is because meat is rich in nutrients and moisture. This makes it highly susceptible to microbial contamination. In the case of fish like sushi and sashimi, the meat is safe to eat as long as the surface of the flesh is seared. 

This is because bacterial contamination is often found outside the whole slices of meat. The rest of it will be fine to eat as long as the surface meat does not cross-contaminate the center.

Eating uncooked ground red meat (such as mince and burger patties) is dangerous, and why dicing meat should be done with caution. 

When red meat is minced into mincemeat, the surface bacteria combine with the rest of the meat and contaminate it. Similarly, while dicing meat, the surface bacteria on your instrument may become contaminated and spread into the middle as you cut. 

To avoid these dangers, you should fully cook red meat mince and meat that you’ve cut yourself.

According to USDA, the color is not a good enough indicator to decide if the meat is cooked. Checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer is crucial to establish whether the meat is safe to consume or not. For whole meat, the minimum temperature limit is 145℉.

However, some argue that eating raw or uncooked red meat rather than cooked red meat is perfectly safe, delicious, and advantageous to one’s health. 

Types of raw red meat

While many raw red meat dishes are popular worldwide, they can still be very dangerous for some individuals. If extreme precaution is not taken, which is often the case when it comes to restaurants and local shops, its consumption can prove to be dangerous for health.

The following are a few of the most common raw red meat dishes:

  • Amsterdam ossenworst is a raw red meat sausage made in Amsterdam.
  • Carpaccio is a thinly sliced raw red meat or fish appetizer that originated in Italy.
  • Kachilaa is a Newari dish made from raw water buffalo flesh chopped finely.
  • Pittsburgh rare refers to a steak that has been grilled to a high temperature for a short time but is still raw or rare on the interior. Raw minced red meat, raw egg yolk, onions, and other ingredients are served with steak tartare.
  • Tiger meat, sometimes known as a cannibal sandwich, is raw red meat combined with seasonings and served on crackers. While these foods may be available at some places, there is no guarantee that they are safe to eat.

Raw red meat is harmful because it can house bacteria that cause illness, such as Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, and Staphylococcus aureus, which are all eliminated by heat during the cooking process.

Foodborne sickness, sometimes known as food poisoning, can result from ingesting these microorganisms.

Read: What Foods Are Safe to Eat Raw?

Are there more nutrients in raw beef?

It is only the availability of these nutrients (mentioned below) that may decrease. However, encouraging its consumption just for that reason would simply be immoral and unethical. 

Red meat is a high-quality protein source that also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The following are the ingredients a cup (comprising 100gm) of red meat with 16–20 percent fat content:

It contains 244 calories in total

  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Iron: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the DV
  • Potassium: 7% of the DV
  • Zinc: 55% of the DV
  • Copper: 8% of the DV
  • Selenium: 36% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 14% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Choline: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 21% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 115% of the DV

Although there is no research present that compares the nutrients of raw versus cooked red meat, raw red meat proponents argue that the nutrients provided by it are readily available for the digestion & absorption of the body.

Consequences of consuming raw red meat

Symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, which can range from moderate to severe, can appear anywhere from 30 minutes to one week after consuming contaminated raw red meat.

Steaks should at least be cooked to the temperature of 145°F and rested for 3 minutes before cutting or eating, while ground red meat must be cooked at least to a temperature of 160°F and rested for 3 minutes before cutting or eating.

Cooking a steak to a temperature of 135°F  for medium-rare /125°F  for rare increases your risk of foodborne disease, but only slightly.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises people who are susceptible to foodborne illnesses to stay away from raw or undercooked meat. Pregnant people, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are among them.

Other FAQs about Meat that you may be interested in.

Does reheating meat kill bacteria?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “Can you eat raw meat?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like the health risks associated with the consumption of raw meat. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.