Can raw beef cause digestive problems?

Consumption of raw beef can trigger various digestive problems. The usual causes for digestive issues from consuming undercooked or raw beef products involve the introduction of bacteria during meat processing.

When raw beef is contaminated, the only way to reduce the risk of acquiring a food-borne illness is to cook the meat thoroughly up to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for steaks and 160 degrees F for ground beef. There are various forms of bacteria present in raw beef along with the conditions associated with them.

Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium associated with undercooked or raw beef. The indications of salmonella infection usually occur 12 hours or up to 3 days after ingestion of beef contaminated by the bacteria.

Digestive problems

Once an individual ingests raw beef products that contain the bacteria, he/she is at risk for developing symptoms as abdominal cramps, vomiting and blood-streaked diarrhea.

Abdominal cramps and diarrhea can persist for up to 7 days. Fever is also a typical manifestation of this form of infection. Individuals at high risk including those who are immunocompromised can suffer from severe symptoms than those who are healthy

E. coli

Raw beef especially ground beef is a typical source of E. coli contamination. Once an individual ingests raw beef products that contain the bacteria, he/she is at risk for developing symptoms as abdominal cramps, vomiting and blood-streaked diarrhea. The symptoms usually start 3-4 days after ingestion of the contaminated foods and can last anywhere from 5-7 days after the onset.

Listeria monocytogenes

Cooking beef up to the right internal temperature can destroy the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. If the individual ingests raw beef, he/she is at risk for infection. The individual can experience digestive distress such as nausea and diarrhea.

On the other hand, the symptoms such as fever and muscle aches are also common. The bacteria can also travel to the nervous system to trigger symptoms such as stiff neck, balance problems, headache, convulsion and confusion.

Women who are pregnant, immunocompromised as well as the elderly and infants face a higher risk of suffering from severe complications from infection from this bacteria.

Campylobacter jejuni

This bacterium is also present in raw meat which is quite dangerous since it has the potential to spread via the bloodstream to trigger a life-threatening condition. An infection can last for up to 7 days and the symptoms include fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea that may or may contain blood. The start of these symptoms typically occurs 2-5 days after the ingestion of contaminated undercooked or raw beef.

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