Thin strips of salted-cured pig belly are known as bacon.
Turkey, lamb, and beef can all be sliced into comparable portions of meat.
An example that is well-known is turkey bacon.
You might be wondering whether it’s safe to consume bacon raw because it’s cured like pre-cooked deli ham.
Read more to find out if you can eat bacon that is still raw.
✅Bacon is pig belly meat that has been salt-cured.
✅ This common breakfast dish shouldn’t be consumed uncooked due to a higher risk of food illness.
✅ Instead, you should completely cook the bacon, being cautious not to overcook it as this can cause more carcinogens to accumulate.
✅ Limiting your intake of bacon and other processed meats is the healthiest course of action.
Can I eat this?
Any type of raw or undercooked meat raises your risk of food poisoning, also referred to as a foodborne sickness. This is due to the possibility that these meats contain hazardous viruses, germs, and parasites.
Bacon has preservatives like salt and nitrites that help it keep longer than other raw meats. While nitrites combat botulism, salt stops the growth of certain germs. However, consuming raw bacon can still raise your risk of getting unwell from food). Common foodborne diseases related to raw or undercooked pork include:
- Toxoplasmosis. While the parasite that causes this illness is generally safe for most individuals, those with compromised immune systems are at risk.
- Trichinosis. This condition is brought on by a type of parasitic roundworm that can result in nausea, vomiting, weakness, and swollen eyes.
- Tapeworms. These intestinal parasitic worms can result in abdominal pain, weight loss, and intestinal obstructions.
By properly cooking bacon, you can eliminate these parasites and lower your risk of contracting food poisoning.
Additional health issues
Bacon and other processed meats have been related to an increased risk of cancer, particularly rectum and colon cancer. Meat that has been preserved through smoking, curing, salting, or the addition of preservatives is referred to as processed meat. Ham, pastrami, salami, sausages, and hot dogs are more examples.
According to one study, the risk of colon cancer rises by 18% for every 2 ounces (50 grams) of processed beef consumed daily.
This conclusion was supported by a second study that connected eating processed beef to colorectal cancer.
Your risk of developing cancer is impacted by the preparation, cooking, and digestion of certain foods.
For instance, your body can produce nitrosamines from nitrites and nitrates, which are added to processed meats like bacon to prevent rotting and retain color and flavor. These unfavorable substances cause cancer.
However, you may lower your risk of developing cancer by avoiding processed meat and alcohol, keeping a healthy weight, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and engaging in regular exercise.
How to safely cook bacon?
The easiest approach to lower your risk of food poisoning is to handle and prepare bacon properly. To prevent foodborne illness, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that bacon packages include safe handling guidelines.
Keep raw bacon away from other foods, and always wash your hands, work surfaces, and utensils after handling it. Additionally, cooking pig items to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C) is advised. Because bacon is thin, it might be challenging to gauge its temperature, so it’s better to cook it until crisp. It can be prepared in a skillet, oven, microwave, or stovetop pan.
Interestingly, a study found that burnt or well-done bacon may be more dangerous than less well-done bacon because of its higher nitrosamine level. Compared to frying, microwave cooking appears to produce fewer of these dangerous chemicals.