Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?

Raw steak is eaten all around the world and is a central part of many delicious dishes. As long as you follow proper safety measures, anyone can enjoy this delicacy!
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: September 13, 2023
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Raw steak is a delicacy in many parts of the world but isn’t as common in the United States. Many people opt out of eating their protein raw because of health concerns like E. Coli, but raw steak isn’t always dangerous. In fact, raw steak is one of the safer land proteins to eat sans heat— safer by far than raw chicken and pork.

Many people even claim that raw steak is both tastier and better for you than cooked steak. As long as you follow the necessary safety precautions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your steak raw. When planning to prepare and eat raw steak, you should take several things into account before doing so. Be sure to check that your steak comes from a reliable and safe source and has been stored properly before and after it passes into your hands.

Is it safe to eat raw beef?

Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?It is safe to eat some raw beef, but it depends on the beef in question. You should probably avoid eating the hamburger meat from the grocery store raw, for example, because it’s more likely to have more bacteria. The raw steak you purchase from a specialized butcher who stores their beef correctly and only sells fresh meat, on the other hand, would be a much safer choice for someone interested in trying raw steak.

The safety of the meat is correlated with how old it is and how it’s been stored. Any extreme temperature fluctuations could result in higher levels of bacteria, as well as meat that’s been on the shelf for a long time.

Parasites in raw meat

Those concerned about parasites in their raw meat should do thorough research on where their meat came from and how it’s been stored and handled since the animal was butchered.

Some raw beef can be the home to parasites and pathogens that could make you sick if you’re not careful. These include Staphylococcus, E. Coli (Escherichia coli), Shigella, and Salmonella. It is also possible to ingest a tapeworm when eating raw meat of any kind, so be sure you trust your meat source completely. As you can tell from this story Trusted Source Parasite found in undercooked meat linked with risk of rare brain cancer - CNN A common parasite people get from contaminated water and undercooked meat may be associated with rare brain cancers, researchers reported Monday. www.cnn.com , eating raw meat is no joke.

When eating raw meat, there are no guarantees that you won’t get sick, no matter how well handled the meat or respectable the establishment. Be aware that if you ingest raw meat, you do so at your own risk. Overall, though, raw beef is much safer than other raw meats (land meats, that is). The bacteria and parasites found in beef aren’t naturally compatible with the human digestive system, and therefore beef isn’t as dangerous as, say, raw chicken.Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?

Tips and tricks for eating raw beef safely

While there will always be some health concerns associated with consuming raw meat of any kind (even fish!), there are a few tips and tricks that can make it safer to eat raw steak.

If at all possible, you should look to try the raw steak at a restaurant rather than at home unless you’re a trained chef. This will help you minimize your risk of eating contaminated steak or mishandling your meat which could make you sick.

If you’re set on mastering the art of steak tartare, however, follow these tips to make sure you’re eating safe meat.

Find good quality meat

Purchasing your meat from a respectable source is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t accidentally consume tainted meat. Even if your grocery store has a meat counter, it’s unlikely to have the best products available for you, and you should look elsewhere for meat that you intend to eat raw. If you’re pressed for time, check out your local butcher’s shop for the best quality meats. Be sure you tell them that you intend to eat the steak raw, and they’ll be able to advise you on how to store and prepare the cut you purchase. If you intend to use minced (ground hamburger style) meat, it’s safer for you to mince it yourself using a food processor.Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?

Keep in mind that you should opt for organic beef that was raised in humane conditions (pasture-raised and grass-fed is a good start). The phrase “you are what you eat” really applies here because cows that have been raised on nutritionally deficient food or confined to small spaces will be less healthy— and therefore worse for you— for their free-roaming counterparts.

If your town doesn’t have a specialized butcher shop or you prefer ordering online, Crowd Cow is a great option for a variety of the best cuts. Little Grill Collective also has a helpful list of online steak companies depending on your price range and other preferences.

Keep it cold

To ensure that your raw beef stays safe and as free of bacteria as possible, you should keep it below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. You should plan to eat your beef as soon as possible (e.g., don’t wait a few days after purchasing to eat it).

While freezing your beef is an option, it may degrade your beef’s overall quality and should be avoided for the best results.

Know how to tell if steak is bad

Like many foods, spoiled raw beef has several telltale signs that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. You should keep an eye out for any bad smells on your raw steak. Spoiled meat will smell rotten, slightly sweet, or even sour when it’s past its prime, and the sniff check is a good way to check for this. Fresh meat shouldn’t really have any smell at all, so if you take a whiff of your raw steak and smell anything pungent, it’s time to throw it out.

Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?You can also check the color of your beef to check if it’s gone bad or not. Fresh and unspoiled raw beef will be red in color on the outside but may be grayish-brown on the inside. This is because the red color appears when a protein in the meat called myoglobin reacts with the oxygen in the air. The meat on the inside of the beef hasn’t been exposed to as much oxygen, and therefore won’t be as red.

If your beef is brown or gray on the outside, however, this is a sign that your beef has begun to spoil and should be thrown away. Also, check for signs of visible mold.

Another method for testing whether your beef is still good is to feel its texture. Spoiled beef will be slimy or sticky both while raw and cooked. Always wash your hands before and after touching raw meat.


Eating raw meat can be uncharted territory for a lot of people, which naturally means they have questions! Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions that people have when considering consuming raw beef.

Is it possible to eat raw steak in a restaurant?

There are many restaurants in the United States that serve raw beef, but they aren’t as common in some places. You’re likely to find these delicacies on the menus at fancy, high-end restaurants in big cities.

Due to the health concerns associated with consuming raw or undercooked meat, many restaurants will opt out of serving raw beef dishes to limit their liability.

If you really want to try raw beef in a restaurant, you may want to look at the menus for restaurants that specialize in international cuisine. Many raw beef recipes are native to other parts of the world and may be included on the menu for restaurants that serve authentic cuisine.

How to tell if steak is bad?

While most restaurants will go above and beyond to ensure that any raw beef they serve is as safe as can be, there’s always the possibility of unintentional spoiled meat or contamination. If you receive a dish that tastes off, has a foul smell, or feels slimy, you should spit it out immediately and alert the wait staff. Your health is the number one concern, so don’t feel bad or embarrassed about complaining if your dish seems off. For a more in-depth description of how to spot spoiled meat, consult this article for further reading.

What is steak tartare?

Raw Steak: How to Eat It Safely?Steak tartare is a delicious dish that originally hails from France. The original version of the dish, which was created in the 1900s, was served with tartare sauce, hence where the name comes from. Here’s some more info Trusted Source www.nytimes.com on the interesting origins of beef tartare.

In essence, steak tartare is raw beef that’s been finely chopped or minced. The beef is topped with a raw egg yolk and eaten with toasted bread.

There are many ways to expand upon the basic recipe, though, and restaurants will likely put their own unique twist on beef tartare. It’s not uncommon to see raw beef mixed with various flavorings like onions, pickles, or capers. These all bring out the natural taste of the raw beef and can go a long way in morphing the dish into a delectable treat. If you intend to make steak tartare yourself, follow these instructions.

  1. Rinse and dry your steak well, and generously salt all sides of the steak. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for one hour.
  2. Trim large pieces of fat and tendons.
  3. Tenderize your meat for optimal texture. If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, this list has great options.
  4. Finely mince or chop your steak. Any chef will tell you that you should always use the right knives when cutting meat. Our favorite serrated knives are these, but if you prefer non-serrated knives, this list has a lot of good options.
  5. Add steak to a bowl and mix with a little vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your preference. Keep mixture tightly covered and chilled until ready to eat.
  6. Top with a raw egg yolk and eat with toast.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re new to eating raw steak or are already a lover of the delicacy, food safety is especially important when it comes to eating dishes like steak tartare. Make sure to check your meat carefully for signs that it’s been spoiled, and be sure you purchase it from a good and reliable source.


Parasite found in undercooked meat linked with risk of rare brain cancer - CNN
A common parasite people get from contaminated water and undercooked meat may be associated with rare brain cancers, researchers reported Monday.

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