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Can You Eat Raw Steak?

If you are one of the many who are unsure whether to order a steak rare at a restaurant in fear of becoming ill, then you will be happy to know that you are not alone.

While there are people who do prefer a cut of steak which is barely cooked, there are also those who need it to be close to being cremated in order to enjoy it.

Because there are dishes that do have raw steak as part of the attraction (steak tartar for example), it is difficult to know whether raw steak is actually safe to eat. There are many conflicting opinions online that it can be a headache just to find out.

However, it is mostly safe to eat raw steak. While you will not just want to buy some steak from the grocery store and serve it cold on a plate, there are ways to make sure that the raw steak you are eating is safe and tasty.

In this article I shall be talking about how you can eat raw beef in a safe way, and why storing it the correct way matters.

Is It Okay To Eat Steak Which Is Raw?

While it is not to everyone’s taste, you can safely eat steak which is raw. That is not to say that you should buy ground beef from the local grocery store and create a homemade beef tartar, however.

This is because you have no idea what part of the cow the beef is from (it could be from many different areas), and where it is from in the country.

Also, taking the raw steak from cold, to warm, to cold, and so on can have an effect on the outcome of the beef. By this point, the beef may have been contaminated by bacteria which can, and most likely will, cause you to become ill.

Instead, you should consider finding a butcher who specializes in selling beef that is to be eaten raw. Not only will they be particular on where the beef comes from, but they will know exactly how to handle the beef in order for it to be consumed without cooking.

So, stay away from cheap beef that has come from afar, and instead opt for a premium piece of cut steak that might cost extra dollars, but will not make you need medical help.

How To Store Steak To Eat It Raw?

Can You Eat Raw Steak?

Once you have seen the butcher cut the beef so you know that the meat has come from the same animal, or if you have bought a quality chunk of steak from another trusted source, make sure you get it home as soon as you can.

Once home, place it in either the refrigerator or freezer to keep it cool. Another option is to take it from the store to your home via a cooler bag with ice blocks in to keep the meat super cold. If you forgot to take it out of the freezer don’t worry, here are some tips on how to defrost steak quickly.

The last thing you will want is to buy raw meat on a particularly hot day and have the meat go from cold, to hot, to cold. This will allow bacteria to form which will make you seriously ill if you consume it on raw meat.

Think E.Coli, listeriosis, and salmonellosis. You don’t want to be adding any of that to your dinner menu. (Hi, would you like your raw steak with a side of listeriosis?)

When storing the steak, make sure it is fully covered and keep it separate from other food to make sure there is no cross contamination possible. At this point, you will want to make sure your refrigerator is cold, so allow it to be no more than 49 degrees.

Turn it to 40 degrees to be even safer.

Lastly, make sure that you do not let the steak just sit in the refrigerator (or freezer) for days. This kind of meat will be much better to consume fresh. So, either buy it on the day or the day before to reduce the chances of becoming ill.

How Can You Tell If A Raw Steak Has Gone Bad?

You may think that a foul smelling bit of meat is just the fact it is raw, but this is not the case at all. There are a few things to look out for if you want to ensure that the steak you are about to eat raw is safe to consume.

For example, that smell. Raw beef actually should not have a smell. If it begins to omit an odor, then bin it. While you might think that it does not smell too bad, the bacteria will have already begun festering on the raw meat.

Do not take that chance of eating it. There is a possibility that you will become quite ill.

The second thing to look at is the color of the meat. Fresh and healthy meat has a red color on its outside, while the inside is more of a gray color.

Once the meat starts to become spoiled, the outside color of the beef will become gray. Once again, do not eat it. Trust me, you will not enjoy a gray raw streak.

Final Thoughts

Even though you might be skeptical at first, you can eat a raw steak. Many people opt for this premium delicacy in restaurants, despite it having an acquired taste – and texture!

So long as the beef is a premium cut (like wagyu beef) that has been handled correctly, there is very little chance that it will make you ill. It all comes down to how well the raw steak has been stored, where the steak comes from, and how quickly you use it.

So, the next time you see raw steak on the menu, give it a go. If you do not feel like eating raw steak just yet, opt for it rare instead.

It is the closest thing to eating raw meat, and will give you a chance to enjoy something that is close to being uncooked without it still mooing.

Hungry for more? Click here for more articles about wagyu steaks (and more)!



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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