There can be some confusion about which meat and which cuts of meat can be eaten rare. Beef tartare, for example, is a popular dish in some European countries and consists of raw minced beef with spices and vegetables. However, restaurants serving this dish use only the highest quality beef from a select few butchers. It is not a dish that is safe to replicate at home, unless of course you are an expert chef!
You may have been asked by a waiter how you’d like your steak cooked – rare, medium or welldone. When you opt for rare, the steak arrives minimally cooked with only a char on each side. In this way any unsafe bacteria dies and is unable to penetrate the dense meat, making it perfectly safe to eat.
If preparing a rare steak at home it is very important to use a food thermometer. According to healthline, a beef steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F. Ground beef or mince, on the other hand, should be cooked to 160 F. Cooking the beef to the appropriate temperature decreases your chances of food borne illness.
So how do you know what meat is safe to eat raw? There is really no clear cut answer. However, there are a few factors to consider such as how the meat was prepared, where it comes from and under what conditions the animal was raised. Grass fed beef is absolutely the best option when consuming raw beef. Cows are able to digest every nutrient contained in grass, but the same cannot be said for grain. Grass fed cows which have been reared in a pasture will have a very strong immune system and will pose very little threat to those who chose to eat its meat raw.
To sum up, it is possible and safe to eat rare beef once taking the above points into consideration. Current research does not support the theory that raw beef is more nutrient dense than cooked beef, therefore, if you have any doubts about the quality of the beef, it is safer to cook it thoroughly. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that populations susceptible to developing foodborne illnesses completely avoid raw or undercooked beef.
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