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Can Rare Steak Cause Stomach Pains?

A rare steak is a steak that has been cooked under low heat and for a very short time. As a result, enough heat did not get to the center of the steak, hence the name rare. Rare steaks are characterized by pink color on the outside, while the center is almost bloody red. The red color is a result of a protein called myoglobin that delivers oxygen to the muscles of the animal from which the steak was harvested.

Eating rare steaks comes with several health risks for various reasons. Animal fodder contains additives, parasites, and bacteria. Upon being ingested by the animals, these parasites and bacteria can stay in the body even without necessarily harming them. The intense heat used to cook the meat kills these bacteria and parasites. This, therefore, means that by cooking your steak rare, the bacteria and parasites are still alive and will be transferred to your body and cause health issues. This article looks at health issues caused by consuming rare steak that may result to stomach pain and other severe conditions.

Grilled dry aged tomahawk steak sliced as close-up
  • Parasitic Infections

Raw and rare steak contains several strains of bacteria and parasites that include Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella, Giardiasis, and beef tapeworm. Upon ingesting these together with the rare done steak, you can rest assured of suffering food poisoning that comes with stomach pains among other symptoms. To prevent these parasites from finding a way into your body, consider cooking your favorite steak to medium-rare. The USDA recommends cooking the center of steaks to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Listeriosis

A type of bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis infection. The bacteria is found in the ground and finds its way into poultry and cattle’s stomachs when grazing on vegetation such as grass. Listeriosis symptoms and signs start showing after 214 hours and they include; fever, diarrhea, and body aches. People with a weak or compromised immune system and pregnant women are more at the risk of Listeriosis and should never consume rare steaks. It can even cause miscarriages in pregnant women or even affect the health of a newborn.

  • Coli Food Poisoning

The most serious and severe effect of eating a rare done steak is E. coli food poisoning. This infection usually affects the intestines because of invasion by a type of bacteria known as Escherichia coli, found in cattle. If you have ever been to a restaurant, ate some meat, and later became a victim of food poisoning, most probably it was because of this bacteria. Upon ingestion, the bacteria causes stomach upset and when left untreated, it is so lethal to a point of causing kidney failure when the toxins it produces destroy red blood cells.

  • Salmonellosis

This is a type of intestinal infection caused by bacteria known as salmonella. It is found in raw and undercooked meat like rare done steak. Since the bacteria survives in cattle’s bodies without making them sick, it is not treated, hence making rare steak unfavorable for human consumption. Upon ingestion into human bodies, salmonella causes fever, abdominal cramps, and light diarrhea. The worst-case scenario is when the bacteria migrate from the intestines and find its way into the blood stream, bones, and joints. When this happens, you may develop osteoarthritis or even cancer of the blood.

  • Campylobacteriosis

This is another well-being hazard related to devouring half-cooked steak. Campylobacter microscopic organisms ordinarily found in a cow’s stomach cause this condition. It can lead to food contamination in meat that is not properly cooked and the effects of the disease for the most part start following 2 days of ingesting the microscopic organisms. It may later on spread to different parts of your body and circulation system, compromising your immune system in the process.

As much as some of us like the bloody look on steaks, we have to do away with rare steaks, after having seen the implications it has on our health. Instead, go for medium-rare or well done steaks since these have had their center cooked at the right temperatures, killing the bacteria and parasites in them. The recommended minimum temperature for cooking steak is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people use a meat thermometer to check for the temperature but this is very wrong. The meat temperature method involves poking the steak to access its center, which erodes the juices, thereby leaving the steak dry and hard. Instead, use the thumb rule method and you will have just the right temperature without losing your steak juices.

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