In bespeak to recognize why my coworker thinks it'd be completely fine to eat raw bacon, you need to understand how bacon is made and what curing is. Bacon is a cured meat, make by acquisition a slab of pork belly and also letting the sit in a brine, or mix of salt and water. The salt in the water paint, etc the moisture out of the meat, killing few of the bacteria that room living top top the meat and stopping the further development of various other bacteria, follow to the The National facility for house Food conservation Guide and also Literature review Series.
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That bacteria-killing procedure is kind of the whole suggest of curing meats. It's an easy—and tasty—way to preserve food that would otherwise easily rot. So yes, bacon has actually a much longer shelf life than raw pork belly and also other uncured meats. Yet that doesn't typical you should eat life bacon, due to the fact that cured meat deserve to still flourish bacteria if taken on incorrectly. "Because of the included salt and nitrite, bacon is much less perishable than other raw meat products," write the united state Department the Agriculture's Food Safety and also Inspection Service, adding, "Even so, the chilling is done conveniently to protect against bacterial growth and promote that shelf-life."
Some would argue the the smoking process of bacon can make it for sure for consumption, straight out the the package. (And through "some" I average my coworker.) and also it's true that smoking, or food preparation meat slowly over indirect heat so it's imparted v the flavor of the wood, have the right to leave you through bacon that's safe to eat without frying it. This is especially true if the pork has actually reached a minimum inner temperature that 145°F throughout the smoking process. However if you're to buy bacon from the grocery keep or even a butcher, there's no way to guarantee the the bacon has been exhilaration to the bacteria-killing temperature.
Plus, as the USDA FSIS clues out, there are plenty of service providers that give bacon the odor of acting by "spraying the bacon with a liquid smoke extract" and also don't actually smoke it and also cook it. Bacon that's been just given the smell of acting without in reality being smoked probably hasn't reached that minimum interior temperature, which way it can be harboring bacteria or helminth that'll make you sick.
And you deserve to get really sick from eat raw or undercooked pork. The many notorious illness is a parasitic infection referred to as trichinellosis, which, according to the united state Centers for condition Control and Prevention, deserve to cause, "nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and ab discomfort," that deserve to last for months.
Long story short? Don't eat raw bacon. Also if it's cured, bacon have the right to still go bad if it's not taken on correctly, and you can't guarantee the your smoke-flavored bacon has been actually smoked to a safe inner temperature. Really, the only means to guarantee the the bacon you're eating is totally free of bacteria is to cook it extensively yourself, in a frying pan, the oven, or even a microwave.
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I don't think this is too much of an ask, though. After ~ all, I'd constantly much fairly a part of the cooked, crispy stuff to chewy, stringy, and also raw bacon any type of day—especially if it means it'll keep me from acquiring sick.