Food is an amazing thing, and when it comes to eating it, you can do it in one of two ways. You cook it, which helps eliminate any bacteria in the food, as well as add some extra spices and ingredients to it.
Another way to consume it is to eat it raw. However, consuming it raw does come with its risks.
One food that people sometimes eat raw is ground beef. In this article, we will figure out if it is possible to eat raw ground beef, the risks, and benefits that come with that, how you can safely eat it, and finally, how to cook raw ground beef in the first place.
What is Ground Beef?
Ground beef is a type of beef, but it’s a specific kind of beef. Ground beef is beef that has been ground or finely chopped, so it’s easy to handle.
There are four types of ground beef you can get. This includes:
- Regular ground beef has a fat content of about 23 to 30 percent. This is because it includes meat from the trimmings of the brisket and shank.
- Ground round has 12 percent fat and comes from the area near the lower end of the tail of the cow.
- Ground chuck has about 15 to 20 percent of fat on it. It comes from the shoulder area of the cow.
- Finally, ground sirloin has only about 10 to 14 percent fat on it. This comes from the midsection of the cow.
Is It Possible to Eat Raw Ground Beef?
The thing about eating raw beef is that while it can be eaten raw, you need to do so under certain conditions, which we will cover later.
Despite this mixed message, there are several meals out there that have raw beef. This includes:
- Carpaccio is an Italian appetizer that has thinly sliced raw beef or fish.
- Amsterdam Ossenwrost or raw beef sausage.
- A cannibal sandwich, which is just raw beef, and some seasonings served on crackers.
- A cannibal sandwich that has raw beef and some seasonings served on crackers.
- Pittsburgh rare, which is a steak that is still mostly raw on the inside.
- Kachilaa, which is raw minced water buffalo meat.
So, as you can see, several meals use raw beef, but this isn’t beef that is just bought at the grocery store. This is why eating raw ground beef comes with conditions.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Ground Beef?
The biggest benefit of eating raw beef has to do with the number of nutrients that it has.
When people cook meat, sometimes nutrients are lost. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of them are lost, but some will be.
Given that cooking meat kills bacteria, it stands to reason that nutrients could be lost.
One thing beef has a lot of its protein, so the more you cook beef, the more protein it has lost. If you eat it raw or rare, then you are going to be consuming a lot more protein than, say, beef that has been cooked well.
Finally, beef also has a lot of vitamin B12. There have been studies that show there is little to no difference in the amount of B12 in ground beef, whether it is raw or cooked.
The only time there is a bit of a difference is when it is fried.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Ground Beef?
Despite the benefits, some risks come with eating raw ground beef. This includes:
- E Coli is a bacteria that ends up in the intestines, and it causes symptoms like cramps, diarrhea, and fever.
- Salmonella is another common type of bacteria that invades the intestines. Symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, and fever.
- Staphylococcus aureus is another bacteria that causes a lot of issues. It depends on the train.
- Shigella is a bacteria that can cause an illness called shigellosis, which usually starts 2 days after getting infected. Common symptoms are diarrhea, cramps, and fever.
- Food poisoning is a classic illness that can affect you for a few days. Common symptoms include cramps, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
These are all the issues that can happen to your body if you eat raw beef that is infected with any of these bacteria. However, fear not because there are ways to ensure that raw ground beef is safe to eat.
How Can You Safely Eat Raw Ground Beef?
There are precautions you can take before you eat your raw ground beef. You want to do this because it can help lower your chances of getting sick. This includes:
- The most important thing is that you need to know where you are getting this beef from. You can’t just walk into the grocery store, pick up a piece of packaged steak, and then eat that raw. The reason for this is that other parts of the cow might be mixed in that shouldn’t be eaten raw.
- You can ensure you have the best cut of quality beef by going to either a butcher or using a trusted online source.
- Finally, just because you have beef from a trusted source doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. You need to put the ground beef in the freezer or fridge. If you plan to eat it right away, it goes in the fridge, and if you don’t want to eat it yet, then it’ll be best if you keep it in the freezer.
By doing these three things, you ensure that your meat is safe to consume raw!
And there you go, all you ground beef lovers out there. It is safe to eat raw ground beef under certain circumstances.
What you have to do is just follow some safety precautions to make sure the raw ground beef is at its safest to consume. Of course, besides the benefits, some risks are involved, as there are with anything.
If you prefer to eat ground beef cooked, then go on ahead and do that. There are plenty of ways to cook it.