Eating foods that contain toxins and pathogens cause foodborne illnesses that can lead to long-term health problems. Widespread awareness and knowledge of food safety issues associated with undercooked steak can influence the willingness to change your cooking practices. Bacteria are constantly evolving, meaning they are able to resist the drugs we use. The emergence of resistant bacteria comes because of regular use of antibiotics in raw or undercooked foods such as steak. This article looks into 5 health risks associated with consumption of undercooked steak and offers safe practices of food preparation.
Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella and occurs as a result of eating undercooked beef. This type of bacteria can survive in the digestive tract of animals without making them sick. However, eating undercooked steak may lead to ingestion of the salmonella bacteria, which causes abdominal cramps, fever, and watery diarrhea. The bacteria then spread from your intestines to other parts of your body such as bones, joints, and bloodstream.
Listeria monocytogenes is a type of bacteria found in the soil, poultry, and cattle. Eating large amounts of undercooked steak can cause a listeria infection that manifests itself within 24 hours of ingestion. You may experience body aches, nausea, fever, and watery diarrhea. People with a suppressed immune system or high-risk groups such as newborns and pregnant women are more likely to exhibit a variety of symptoms depending on the area of infection. Pregnant women may experience miscarriages, stillbirth, or preterm delivery that affects the status of their newborn.
3. E.coli Food Poisoning
Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that has several strains and is mostly found in the intestines of cattle. Although most strains are considered harmless, some can cause serious food poisoning or stomach upset if present in undercooked steak. Eating undercooked steak implies that very little amount of heat was used to prepare the meal. This allows the E.coli bacteria to survive long enough triggering a life-threatening health complication known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome. This can result in sudden kidney failure when the bacterial toxins trigger the destruction of circulating red blood cells.
This is another health risk associated with consuming undercooked steak. It is caused by Campylobacter bacteria normally found in the digestive tract of poultry and cattle. It can lead to serious food poisoning in undercooked meat and the symptoms of infection usually begin after 2 days of ingesting the bacteria. It then spreads to other parts of your body and bloodstream, compromising your immunity system in the process.
5. Parasitic Infections
There are many strains of bacteria found in raw or undercooked steak that can cause food poisoning. Giardiasis and beef tapeworm are some of the parasitic infections derived from eating raw or undercooked beef. Other examples of foodborne illnesses include Staphylococcus aureus and Shigella and can compromise your immune system in a short period after ingestion.
Safe Practices when Preparing Steak
The U.S Department of Agriculture recommends that steaks should be cooked at the center point to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Uncooked meat needs to be separated from cooked or ready foods to avoid contamination. If you are not serving cooked food right away, it is advisable to wrap it nicely before placing it in the freezer or refrigerator. Always remember to wash your hands every time you touch uncooked meat to avoid spreading germs and bacteria when preparing other meals.
Why You Should Avoid Eating Undercooked Steak
Undercooked steak poses great health risks such as bacterial infections caused by different strains of bacteria. Pregnant women, children, and individuals who have weak immune systems or suffering from chronic illnesses may experience serious health complications. The bacteria present in undercooked steak can also affect healthy people as they might fall ill because of food poisoning.
The reason why you should cook steak at the required heat temperatures is to kill germs and bacteria present in food. It is very difficult to tell if the meat is contaminated just by looking at it. All the bacterial strains discussed above can lead to serious health complications. People with a weak immune system or suffering from chronic illnesses will need extensive medical care when treating the bacterial infection. This is because they have a history of other previous health conditions. Exercising good practices when preparing steak will help you live a healthy life and enjoy a delicious meal free from germs and bacteria, which promotes healthy living.