Can You Eat Bacon Raw?

We all know that meat should not be eaten raw because it can be contaminated in some way. Raw meat may contain bacteria and parasites, which can cause food poisoning and many health problems.

In this article we will deal with bacon. First we will tell you something more about bacon and then we will see how we should consume it. If you love bacon and if you use it often in your diet, this article will be interesting and useful for you.

Can we eat bacon raw or should we cook it first? Can raw bacon cause any side effects? Read along and you will find out.

More about Bacon

Bacon is a meat product that is prepared from different cuts of pork. Bacon is usually cured with large amounts of salt, either in a dry packing or in a brine. The result of this process is fresh bacon that is also known as green bacon. When you have fresh bacon, it can be dried for months in cold air, but you can also boil or smoke it. Fresh bacon is usually cooked before eating.

Bacon can be boiled, smoked, fried, grilled or baked and it is often eaten as a side dish or as an ingredient in some dishes. Bacon differs from ham by the brine or dry packing. A brine of ham usually contains large amounts of sugar, which is not case with a bacon. Bacon grease is composed almost completely of fat and it has a very little nutritional value. There are many health risks that are realted to the bacon grease consumption.

Can We eat Bacon Raw?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You should not eat bacon uncooked because it can cause many health problems.

Actually, uncooked bacon may contain bacteria and parasites, which can cause bacterial infections or a parasitic infection called trichinelosis. Trichinella is a parasite that usually infects raw pork. It is known that commercial manufacturers cure and smoke bacon before they sell it, but sometimes it is not enough. Bacon can be selled although trichinella is not killed by curing and smoking. But, due to the added salt and nitrites, bacon is less persihable than other raw meats because salt can slow the growth of bacteria.

Side Effects of Eating Raw Bacon

Bacterial and parasitic infections can cause many problems in the gastrointestinal tract, but also other health problems. If you eat bacon raw, you may start vomiting or you may get diarrhea, bloating and upset stomach.

Also, some of the symptoms may be aching joints, eye swelling or even muscle incoordination and difficulties in breathing. In some cases consequences can be fatal and trichinelosis can lead to death. If you notice any unusual symptoms after eating bacon raw, it is necessary to see your doctor as soon as possible.

How To Consume Bacon?

Bacteria on your bacon will multiply if it has been kept in the fridge for a certain period of time. To avoid any health risks, it is recommended to cook your bacon first. This way you will kill all parasites and bacteria and you will be able to enjoy in your favorite food. You should cook bacon until it becomes crisp because it is a sign that your bacon has been heated enough. As we have already said, you can boil, fry, smoke, bake or grill your bacon.

Also, if you buy precooked bacon, you can safely enjoy it. Precooked bacon is good because it has been heated before packaging, so the bacteria are killed. As you can see, the bacon that you purchase at a grocery store usually is not raw, because it has been smoked and cured.

Most experts claim that the bacon purchased at the store is ready to eat and you don’t have to worry. Others advise to cook it first, because sometimes bacon may be smoked, but not cooked completely. With cooking you will be sure that any bacteria on the bacon surface is killed. Also, cooking will improve the texture and the flavor of your bacon.


As you have seen in this article, eating bacon raw is not good for your health. Raw meat may contain bacteria and parasites, which can lead to many infections and serious health problems. Because of that, it is important to cook bacon before eating. There are different ways how you can prepare your bacon. Good news is that in most cases bacon you purchase at a store is already smoked and cured, so there’s no need to be worried.

It is also possible that nothing bad will happen if you eat a small amount of raw bacon, but you should not put yourself at risk. Although smoked bacon can be eaten without cooking, experts advise to cook it first, just in case.