Technically yes, but only if it’s already cured. Some turkey bacon comes pre-cooked, but that’s not the same. To be safe, it’s always better to make sure it’s fully cooked.
Turkey bacon is a preferred food choice by many people. It is believed to be a healthier alternative to other types of meat, such as traditional pork bacon. Unless you want to prepare the meat yourself, most products you’ll come across are processed in some way. The question is: can you eat turkey bacon raw? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about turkey bacon and how it can be consumed?
What is Raw Turkey Bacon?
In most cases, light and dark meat are chopped or ground to make turkey bacon. The mix is then seasoned and supplemented with a few other ingredients to preserve it. With the meat and skin pressed into what looks like traditional bacon strips, it is then usually cured and processed.
Can You Eat Raw Turkey Bacon?
This depends on your definition of raw. If you want to eat turkey bacon as soon as you open the package, you probably can.
In most cases, turkey bacon is processed meat that’s already been cooked prior to packing. It is processed slightly differently, usually smoked or cured, and can technically be consumed without any issue.
However, considering the potential risks of eating raw meat, you have to check the packaging to see whether it is a pre formed turkey that can be eaten right away. The manufacturers will usually inform you if your turkey bacon is ready to eat.
You have to watch out for certain types of products. For instance, Applegate turkey bacon is almost always not fully cooked and can be harmful if eaten directly. It’s necessary to always check the product label for information and instructions.
When it comes to raw turkey that you prepare on your own, it should be cooked. Even a single raw cut of turkey bacon can lead to food poisoning since it might contain a significant amount of harmful bacteria.
Can You Eat Undercooked Turkey bacon?
Whether it’s packaged or homemade, eating any kind of bacon that is not fully cooked can be hazardous to your health. Turkey meat is no exception. Since turkey is a type of poultry, there is a high chance that it may carry Salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter, among other bacteria. These are dangerous pathogens that can cause many unpleasant symptoms and lead to food poisoning and other serious illnesses.
The only way to make sure turkey bacon is safe is by properly cooking it. There is also a risk of cross-contamination when raw turkey touches other surfaces or ready-to-eat foods, as bacteria can easily spread especially in ambient and warm temperatures.
So, to put it simply, eating turkey bacon raw or undercooked is not only unadvisable but also quite harmful.
Can You Eat Uncured Turkey Bacon?
Uncured turkey bacon does not mean it is uncooked. While turkey bacon is cured in most cases, you might come across uncured bacon products that are not processed using chemical nitrates. Instead, they are naturally smoked, much like deli ham, and can actually be a healthy alternative to processed meat products.
Again, the safest thing to do is to cook the bacon. Uncured turkey bacon can be safe to eat as long as it is fully cooked, which should be mentioned on the product label. Curing it will also help preserve it for a longer period of time. So, if you’re going for uncured bacon, make sure it is really fresh.
Is Turkey Bacon Precooked and Cured?
Typically, but not always.
Turkey bacon is usually already cooked and cured, though you should always check the packaging to be sure. This means that you technically don’t have to cook it to be able to enjoy it. However, in that form, there’s a high chance you might not enjoy it at all without cooking it first.
Some processed meats, like Applegate turkey bacon are not fully cooked, though they are mostly cured. In any case, the packaging will always tell you whether or not it is cooked.
What Happens If You Eat Uncooked Turkey Bacon?
What will happen can vary from nothing at all to serious food poisoning that can last for days or weeks.
Raw turkey may contain a wide range of harmful pathogenic bacteria that can give your stomach a very hard time. Eating turkey bacon raw can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache, tapeworms, and more. These can go away in a couple of days but can also last for a few weeks.
Is Turkey Bacon Similar to Pork Bacon?
Not exactly, although it is usually chopped and pressed into turkey bacon strips that look like your usual pork bacon. You can also prepare turkey bacon as you would do with real bacon made from pork. Some turkey bacon products may even contain pork bacon. This will be mentioned on the product label.
As for the taste and nutritional value, processed turkey bacon is quite similar to pork bacon. Turkey has fewer calories and has less protein and saturated fat, though only by a small margin. Both meats offer good nutrients, such as vitamin B, zinc, selenium, and other minerals.
Is Turkey Bacon Healthier than Pork Bacon?
While turkey contains fewer calories, it doesn’t lack saturated fats and sodium. These, when consumed excessively, can increase the risk of developing cancer, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
It’s recommended to have turkey and pork in moderate amounts. In addition, you should always try eating foods with low amounts of sodium.
How Can You Eat Raw Bacon Safely?
If it comes to that, you should make sure your raw bacon is fresh and handled in the best possible way. If it’s not, it should be discarded immediately.
If you’re making it yourself, make sure you prepare it cleanly and limit its contact with other surfaces and foods. Otherwise, try to get it from a trusted source and make sure it’s fresh and handled properly.
Is It Better to Cook Turkey Bacon?
Definitely. Cooking turkey bacon will eliminate the risk of contracting food-borne illnesses. While it’s usually safe to eat processed and cured turkey, you can’t always be sure that the product was handled with care. By cooking it, you don’t have to worry about that.
How to Cook Turkey Bacon Safely?
You can cook it the way you would do with regular bacon. Below are the most common methods.
- How to Fry Turkey bacon?
This is the usual approach. Place your slices in a pan with oil and leave it on medium heat until deeply browned. Add whatever other ingredients you feel suitable.
- How to Cook Turkey Bacon in the Oven?
This is another easy method that is especially convenient if have frozen bacon. Pre-heat the oven to the suggested temperature and bake on an oven tray. The result would be nice, crispy bacon.
- How to Microwave Turkey Bacon?
This is a very quick and straightforward process. It’s better to put some paper towels on the plate. If you want to add more slices, place a couple more paper towels on top and then add the next layer. Depending on the temperature, it should be ready in a minute or two.
Whatever the cooking method, it’s always a good idea to let the meat rest on a paper towel before you eat it. This way, the paper towel will absorb the fats and oils resulting in a delicious, crispy meal.
What Are the Benefits of Turkey Bacon?
Turkey Bacon is packed with nutrients that provide many health benefits. It is rich in protein, which can contribute to muscle, bone, and tissue growth and maintenance. B vitamins such as B3, B6, and B12 are beneficial to cell communication, energy, and DNA production.
It is also rich in minerals such as zinc, selenium, and phosphorus. These offer protective health benefits and help with many bodily processes such as metabolism, hormones, and enzyme reactions.
Turkey bacon usually contains less fat than other types of bacon, depending on the cut. To enjoy the full benefits without risking health issues, it should be consumed moderately.
Turkey is a very popular type of meat that can come in different forms. It is usually processed and cured, so it’s not technically raw. As a consequence, it is usually safe to consume. When it is actually raw, eating it comes with risks. The safe choice is to cook it as you would cook bacon. If you’re going for raw, make sure you take the necessary precautions to reduce your risk.
FAQs on Raw Turkey Bacon
• Is it safe to eat turkey bacon raw?
Eating any kind of raw meat can be very risky. Cooking is always the safest option.
• Can turkey bacon lead to food poisoning?
Raw turkey bacon can contain a significant amount of harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Symptoms vary, but they usually include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.
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