Blue steak or extra raw steak is a true delicacy in France, the rest of Europe, and other continents, such as Africa and Southeast Asia, but is not as popular in the USA. Steak tartare, Kitfo, and Carpaccio are other popular gourmet dishes that are based on raw meat and are served in high-end restaurants. But these restaurants maintain the highest hygiene standards and get their meat from reliable butchers and sources only.
If you are contemplating eating raw Steak, you may be wondering whether it is safe and how to prepare it in order to avoid foodborne illness due to e.coli.
Read on to find out more about eating raw Steak.
Is eating raw beef safe?
Raw beef can contain harmful bacteria such as Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus, and Shigella, which can cause food poisoning. These foodborne pathogens are destroyed when the meat is cooked at a temperature recommended by the USDA food safety guidelines. These include cooking the Steak to above 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).
When cooked to the doneness of medium rare (135 degrees Fahrenheit) or rare (125 degrees Fahrenheit), not all bacteria are killed, which makes eating the Steak riskier.
The difference is in the source of the meat. If it is properly stored at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and is handled with all food safety requirements in mind, then the beef is less likely to have high concentrations of pathogens.
If you plan on eating a Blue steak, Steak tartare, or Carpaccio in a reputable restaurant, you can be pretty sure that the risk of getting a foodborne illness is minimal.
But the same cannot be said about some beef and minced beef offered at supermarkets.
Raw meat and parasites
Apart from the abovementioned bacteria, raw meat may harbor parasites, such as Trichinosis or tapeworms. Some meats are safer to eat than others, depending on the type of animal they come from and the compatibility of the parasites between the animals and us humans.
Poultry can be riskier than eating raw fish like sushi, for example.
How to eat raw Steak safely
If you want to eat raw Steak with minimal risk of getting infected by harmful bacteria or parasites, then make sure to follow these steps:
- Choose a reputable restaurant to order the raw meat, and check with it before going to find out if there is blue Steak being served there
- Do not attempt to prepare raw Steak or minced meat at home with meat coming from the supermarket. Instead, choose a reliable butcher to provide you with a fresh cut of meat
- Choose meat from organically raised animals rather than factory-farmed ones because the organically raised ones are healthier and have fewer parasites, and have not been treated with hormones and antibiotics
- Store the meat at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times before prepping the dish with it, but avoid freezing it because it will ruin the taste and texture of the meat
- Do not store it for more than 1-2 days
- Inspect the meat for a foul smell or bitter or sour taste and slimy texture before consuming it
Overall, you can feel quite safe if you choose to order a steak tartare, Carpaccio, or blue Steak in a high-end restaurant, but it is not advisable to prepare raw meat dishes at home with meat which comes from the supermarket or from factory-farmed animals or unknown sources.
Eating meat that has high concentrations of bacteria and parasites can lead to quite serious food poisoning, infections and illness.
If you want to prepare your own raw meat dish at home, you should pick a reputable local butcher or some of the trustworthy organic meat delivery companies, and choose meat coming from organically and ethically raised cattle.
Make sure that you prepare it immediately, or store it for only 1-2 days at a temperature up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to limit the risk of bacterial growth.
To stay on the safe side, you should avoid eating any kind of raw steak, meat, or fish if you are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition, or you are aging or still very young.