The other day, my colleague tried to convince me the I might eat life bacon. His logic? Bacon is cured, prefer deli ham, and also you can eat deli ham without food preparation it, for this reason why perform you require to chef bacon? I, however, was horrified, and beginning having terrible thoughts of roundworm-induced cradle distress. I quickly realized the we're not the only civilization having this debate around raw, uncooked bacon. There space plenty of folks on the web who space wondering, "Will life bacon kill me?" or "Can you die from eating raw bacon?" and also though those inquiries are a little dramatic, the initial question stands: have the right to you eat uncooked bacon safely? If not, climate what happens if you eat life bacon? Is the the nightmare the food poisoning that i imagined, or will everything be entirely fine?

In stimulate to understand why my coworker think it'd be entirely fine come eat life bacon, you have to understand how bacon is made and also what curing is. Bacon is a cured meat, do by taking a slab the pork belly and also letting that sit in a brine, or mix of salt and also water. The salt in the water paint, etc the moisture the end of the meat, killing few of the bacteria that space living ~ above the meat and stopping the further expansion of various other bacteria, according to the The National facility for residence Food preservation Guide and Literature review Series.

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That bacteria-killing procedure is type of the whole point of curing meats. It's one easy—and tasty—way to keep food that would otherwise conveniently rot. So yes, bacon has a much longer shelf life 보다 raw pork belly and also other uncured meats. However that doesn't typical you must eat life bacon, since cured meat deserve to still thrive bacteria if handled incorrectly. "Because the the added salt and nitrite, bacon is much less perishable than various other raw meat products," to write the us Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and also Inspection Service, adding, "Even so, the chilling is done easily to avoid bacterial growth and also promote its shelf-life."

Some would certainly argue that the smoking process of bacon have the right to make it for sure for consumption, right out the the package. (And by "some" I mean my coworker.) and also it's true the smoking, or cooking meat gradually over indirect warm so it's imparted through the smell of the wood, deserve to leave you with bacon that's for sure to eat there is no frying it. This is specifically true if the pork has actually reached a minimum internal temperature that 145°F throughout the cigarette smoking process. However if you're to buy bacon indigenous the grocery save or also a butcher, there's no means to guarantee that the bacon has been exhilaration to that bacteria-killing temperature.

Plus, together the USDA FSIS point out out, there room plenty of providers that offer bacon the flavor of smoke by "spraying the bacon with a fluid smoke extract" and don't actually smoke it and also cook it. Bacon that's to be just offered the smell of acting without actually being smoked most likely hasn't reached that minimum interior temperature, which way it can be harboring bacteria or helminth that'll make you sick.

And you can get an extremely sick from eating raw or undercooked pork. The most notorious condition is a parasitic infection referred to as trichinellosis, which, follow to the us Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention, deserve to cause, "nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal discomfort," that can last because that months.

Long story short? Don't eat raw bacon. Even if it's cured, bacon have the right to still go poor if it's not handled correctly, and you can't guarantee the your smoke-flavored bacon has been in reality smoked come a safe interior temperature. Really, the only means to guarantee that the bacon you're eat is totally free of bacteria is to cook it completely yourself, in a frying pan, the oven, or even a microwave.

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I don't think this is too lot of an ask, though. After ~ all, I'd constantly much fairly a slice of the cooked, crispy stuff to chewy, stringy, and also raw bacon any kind of day—especially if it method it'll save me from obtaining sick.