Even if you are not the world’s greatest cook, you probably head into the kitchen regularly enough to cook a meal for the family. Most of us know several dishes we can cook quite confidently, and many more regularly experiment with new dishes, flavours, and ingredients. But unless you are vegan or vegetarian, chances are you will handle raw meat at some point during the cooking process. If you choose a dish that includes raw meat and vegetables, can you cook them together in one pan, or should you prepare and cook them separately?
The answer is it depends on how thoroughly you need to cook the meat. If you intend to cook it right through, so no pink remains and no blood runs from it, you can happily cook all the ingredients together in the same pan (assuming the recipe doesn’t call for anything else). However, if the meat must remain pink, it is best to cook the ingredients separately before plating up the meal.
Preparing and handling raw meat safely
Knowing how to cook meat safely is very important, of course, especially since some meats must be cooked through, while others can be pink (such as a steak, for example). Gone are the days when we were instructed to wash meat before cooking it. Now, we understand this can transfer bacteria from the meat onto other surfaces, thereby increasing the risk of illness.
But it is also important to make sure your work surfaces, chopping boards, and other food preparation areas are clean before you start. You should also have a chopping board you only use for raw meat. This ensures the same board is not used for raw meat and other foodstuffs, which again can increase the chances of falling ill.
Furthermore, once you have finished preparing your meat, you should immediately wash the chopping board in hot, soapy water. Once this is done, be sure to clean the surrounding areas so no blood or other spots of juice from the meat are left to contaminate the area. This should be done as part of your kitchen cleanliness routine, and raw foods and cooked foods should be separate from each other, too.
Could you get food poisoning from raw meat?
You could. That is why it is vital to wash your hands before you begin, and to make sure the area and chopping boards you are using are clean, too. Never wash the meat you are going to use, and prepare it on a board you have specifically for that purpose.
We may think our bathrooms are liable to be filled with more bacteria than our kitchens, but the NHS website revealed a study had found the average kitchen sink harboured 100,000 times more germs than the average bathroom. This shows just how vital it is to make sure you take every precaution to ensure you do not get food poisoning from raw meat.
Getting organised in your kitchen
Make sure you clean your work surfaces regularly to prevent a build-up of bacteria. This includes the sink, for reasons that have now become clear. Additionally, you should keep chopping boards for various foods. Some people use a selection of coloured boards, with a red one always reserved for raw meat and nothing else.
It helps to have a hot bowl of soapy water ready too, so the moment you have finished preparing the raw meat, your knives, chopping board, and other items can go straight in there. Be sure to use an antibacterial spray to clean the worktops with, and ensure you wash the cloth you use straight afterwards, too.
Have you had food poisoning because you ate out?
Food poisoning comes from food that has been contaminated with bacteria. There are many types of bacteria around, including salmonella and E. coli among others. The symptoms you get will not always be the same, because it depends on the type of bacteria that has caused your illness. However, you can expect to feel or be sick, to have diarrhoea, and to feel very under the weather. Feeling as if you have no energy, and experiencing a fever in some cases, can also be familiar symptoms to anyone who has had food poisoning.
Most cases will resolve themselves, but if you have a pre-existing medical condition, or you take medication for an illness or condition and you cannot keep it down, seek advice from your GP. Most people won’t require any medical attention, but in some cases where the bacteria is more serious, or the person is very ill, fluids may be needed intravenously to help them get better.
Contact us today for no-obligation advice about food poisoning claims
According to the Food Standards Agency, over 500,000 cases of food poisoning are recognised to occur every year from pathogens we already know about. It is likely other cases are unreported and therefore the actual figure could be far higher. It is thought it could be over twice as high if unknown pathogens causing food poisoning were included.
If you’ve been affected by eating raw meat, or you have had food poisoning while eating out at a restaurant or having had a takeaway, you may not think you have much cause to claim compensation. However, if you were made ill through negligence, which could potentially be likely, there could be grounds to claim.
Call us today
To find out if this applies in your case, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to speak to an advisor. You can also call from your mobile on 0333 500 0993. Either way, you are within one call of learning whether our lawyers could represent you in claiming against a third party. If so, they will accept the case on a no-win, no-fee* basis, which means there are no money worries to be concerned about. Call today to find out for certain whether a claim for eating raw meat or getting food poisoning is a possibility.