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Before You Eat That Juicy Piece of Meat…

Before You Eat That Juicy Piece of Meat…
March 01
16:02 2019

How many food commercials do you see on television, in magazines, mailers, etc.? Have you ever noticed that the majority of those advertisements for places that serve various beef dishes, especially steak, show pieces of meat that are still pink and even red inside?

Many people like their steak, hamburgers and other beef dishes cooked rare or medium rare, in other words, pink or red in the middle. The culture has also resulted in a change in definition, towards the less the done.

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A few decades ago, if you went into a restaurant and ordered your steak or burger medium well, it had no pink. However, ordering your beef medium well will result in meat that is still pink inside, and this change in doneness is a direct result of the change in culture to eat your meat, especially beef, undercooked.

Part of the reason for this cultural shift is that a number of reports claim that the longer meat is cooked, especially beef, the greater the chance of it containing carcinogens, produced by the cooking process. This is usually the case with meat cooked on a barbecue grill, wood flame or open flame.

But is eating meat that is still pink or red healthy or does it come with a health risk?

Let me ask you this – have you noticed that even with increased inspections and health regulations with the processing of meat, that there has been an increase in the number of E. coli outbreaks over the past decade or so?

  1. coli is far more common in raw meat than many people think, but if the meat is properly cooked until it is done, the heat kills the E. coli. However, when you eat your burgers or steaks with some pink or red in them, chances are, not all of the E. coli found inside the meat has been killed and therefore, people tend to get sick.

Note that E. coli is not the only thing found in raw or undercooked meat that can make you sick. Here is a report from one health department:

“Foodborne illness (commonly know as food poisoning) cases happen when people eat food that contains pathogens or toxins. You can’t see, smell or taste them, and between 4°C and 60°C or 40°F and 140°F, they can multiply rapidly to create millions of new bacteria in just a few hours.”

“Eating contaminated food can make you sick. For some people, especially young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, food poisoning can be very dangerous and can lead to long-term health complications and even death. That’s why it’s important to prevent it with safe food handling practices.”

Another source states:

“While eating rare meat doesn’t guarantee anything bad will happen to you, it does increase your risk of getting a food-borne illness, such as buy clomid cheap uk E. coli, salmonella or listeria. Properly cooking your meat to the recommended internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for chops, roasts or steaks of beef, lamb or pork; 160 degrees for ground red meat and 165 degrees for poultry helps limit this risk as it kills many of the organisms that cause these food-borne illnesses.” [emphasis mine]

Another risk of eating undercooked meat (beef, pork, poultry)  is trichinosis. This is a disease caused by a microscopic parasitic worm called Trichinella. Trichinosis can set in as fast as 1-2 days for abdominal symptoms and as late as 2-8 weeks for other symptoms, which include headaches, fevers, chills, coughing, swelling of the face and eyes, aching joints, muscle pain, diarrhea, constipation and itchy skin. Most cases of trichinosis come from eating undercooked pork, bear, horse, seal, walrus, fox, wolf, dog, cougar, bobcat, lynx.

Eating raw or undercooked fish (sashimi) can result in infections of liver flukes, another parasite. It should be noted that the highest incidence of liver flukes is found in many coastal areas, especially in the Far East, where fish composed a major part of the diet.

If these things listed above concern you, it is best to make sure your meat and fish of any kind, is thoroughly cooked. Some sources say that you can eat beef that is still pink in the middle as long as the middle temperature reached 160ºF or higher. As for poultry and pork, most safety recommendations say that any pink can be dangerous.

Personally, my motto is ‘red means you’re dead and pink means stink’.



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HLA Staff

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