In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat sausage without cooking?” We will also look at risks of consuming sausages without cooking and some methods of cooking sausages.
Can you eat sausage without cooking?
No, it is not advisable to consume sausage without cooking it. Sausages should not be consumed raw except for the pre-cooked or dry varieties which are already “ready to eat” from the manufacturer.
Consuming raw sausages can result in food poisoning because of the presence of bacteria in the sausages so avoid this at all costs.
It is important that you know the type of sausage because some types such as summer sausage are already cured and safe for eating e.g summer sausage, others must be cooked before consumption these include sausage links, bratwurst, breakfast sausage etc
What are the risks of consuming sausage without cooking?
The major risk of consuming raw sausage would be to get food poisoning. There are many food pathogens that might be present on raw sausages some of them are E.coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens. Let us take a look at some of these pathogenic bacteria:
E.coli is a bacteria that usually resides in the intestines. Most strains of E.coli are usually harmless but some strains produce a shiga toxin that results in food poisoning when ingested.
Consuming raw sausages can result in E.coli infection and some common symptoms are Diarrhea which can be watery or bloody, fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pains, cramps and vomiting.
Salmonella infection is one of the most commonly reported food borne infections in the United States. Salmonella also lives in the intestines and people can get food poisoning from consuming raw foods that have been contaminated by the bacteria.
Symptoms of salmonella usually start 8 to 72 hours after infection and may include cold and chills, bloody stool, cramps in the stomach, diarrhea, fever, headache, upset stomach and throwing up.
Campylobacter infection is usually a form of gastroenteritis or stomach flu but it is a result of food borne infection. This infection occurs when you consume foods including raw sausages that have a high load of campylobacter to cause the infection.
Symptoms begin 1 to 7 days after eating food that is contaminated. Symptoms of the infection include: diarrhea which can be bloody, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.
Listeria bacteria usually cause a serious food borne infection known as Listeriosis. Listeriosis can affect vulnerable groups of people such as newborns, pregnant women, old people above 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of listeriosis can include: nausea, diarrhea, fever and muscle aches. This infection can sometimes be severe if it spreads out to the nervous system and can result in stiff neck, confusion, headache, loss of balance and convulsions.
Clostridium perfringens is a bacteria that can be found in raw sausages and other raw meats, in animal intestines and in the environment. Clostridium perfringens can survive in very extreme conditions because they produce spores that can act as coatings enabling them to survive.
Symptoms of the bacteria usually appear 6 to 24 hours after consumption of contaminated food and can include pain and cramps, stomach bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, increased gas, nausea, loss of appetite and muscle aches.
Apart from the risk raw sausages and other raw meats have no nutritional benefits as discussed below;
No proven benefits
Consuming raw sausage also has no shown benefits either nutritional or otherwise. There have been claims that raw meat is superior in nutritional value as compared to cooked meat but these claims have no scientific backing.
Some scientists have also promoted the idea that cooking meats enables the proteins to be broken down much better which makes it easier to chew and digest cooked foods. Levels of essential minerals in specific copper, zinc and iron also tend to increase when foods are cooked.
How can you cook sausage before you eat?
Sausages are versatile and can be prepared in the following ways:
Boiling is a convenient way of preparing homemade sausages. To cook using this method, boil some water and place your sausages in the pot of boiling water for about 30 minutes if they were raw and about 10 minutes if they were pre-cooked.
Deep frying sausage involves placing the sausages in hot oil. It is essential to use healthy fats such as oil, coconut or avocado oil. Ensure the oils are hot at about 375°F (190°C) and fry the sausages for about 5 minutes or until you see they are fully cooked.
You can as well bake your sausages in an oven. First ensure you preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) and then put in your sausages ideally in a pan. Bake your sausages for around 25-40 minutes depending on their size and ensure you turn them halfway so that they are evenly baked.
Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat sausage without cooking?” We have also looked at risks of consuming sausages without cooking and some methods of cooking sausages.