Can You Eat Raw Beef?

Health authorities recommend cooking beef to prevent illnesses caused by bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Shigella. Food poisoning can be very dangerous. But does it mean you can’t eat raw beef at all? The answer is very simple. If you want to minimize your risk of food poisoning to almost zero – don’t eat raw meat – at all. But if you still want to enjoy the amazing taste and texture of raw beef – you can take a few precaution steps :

Find a reliable butcher – Many times, the meat that a butcher receives is safe to be eaten raw. But because of his wrong working practices – it gets contaminated. For example, if he cuts beef with the same knife he cuts chicken with. That’s why it is very important to find a reliable butcher that doesn’t cut corners.

How do you find a reliable butcher shop? visit a few of them in your area and pay attention to the way the workers work with meat. Do they change gloves between handling beef and chicken? Do they use different cutting boards and knives? I would also recommend letting your butcher know that you intend on eating the meat you buy – raw. Ask him about his safety practices and also ask him directly – can you eat raw beef, taking into account what he knows about the chain of supply. 


Inspect the meat – Smell the meat and make sure it has no strong or strange smell. Make sure the surface of the meat is not sticky. Does the meat look fresh and healthy to you? Trust your instincts – if you notice something strange – don’t eat that meat, especially not raw!

Freeze to kill parasites – Freezing meat for long enough (in some cases – for as many as 10 days) kills many of the tapeworms that can cause Taeniasis (an infection within the intestines by tapeworms). Getting infected with a beef tapeworm is not a nice thing to go through. Do keep in mind that freezing meat changes its texture. Many people prefer eating raw fresh meat – but it carries its own risks. Research and find out if tapeworms in beef are common in your country or not. The answer to can you eat raw beef very much depends on this as well. 

Cook the surface – Many times, the problematic area is the outer surface of the meat. That’s why searing meat for a few seconds on each side – can decrease the chances of food poisoning. That’s why when people ask – can you eat raw steak, they are recommended to sear it first, so the inside is raw – and the outside is not.  Here are some good ideas to “disinfect” the surface of meats:

  • Use a gas torch burner (the ones sold to pastry chefs).
  • Use a toaster.

Raw Meat Diet

Most people on the carnivore or keto diet – eat their meat cooked. But there are many people who exclusively eat their meat raw! And this type of eating has few names – the raw meat diet / raw carnivore / raw keto. Some of the participants in the raw meat diet claim that bacteria are not always harmful to us. And a person with a healthy gut (which is a result of eating a healthy meat diet) can deal just fine with it. This is of course against the recommendations of Health authorities.

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