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Carpaccio: Safe or Risky? What You Need to Know Before Taking a Bite

Recent years have seen a rise in appeal for the dish carpaccio, especially in Western nations.

Beef carpaccio

It is a meal of thinly sliced raw meat that is topped with things like olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. Although beef is the most common flesh used to make carpaccio, other meats can also be used, including venison, tuna, and salmon.

The possibility of contracting a foodborne disease when eating raw meat is one of the main worries.

If meat is not correctly cooked or prepared, it may contain dangerous bacteria and parasites that can make you ill. So, the issue is, can I eat carpaccio?

It depends, is the response. If made properly and with high-quality components, carpaccio can be eaten without worrying about health risks.

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Quality

Close up of carpaccio meat with parmesan cheese

The quality of the meat is the most crucial element in guaranteeing the safety of carpaccio. Carpaccio meat needs to be high-quality, fresh, and ideally from a reliable source.

If the flesh is not fresh, it might be contaminated with dangerous bacteria that can make people sick.

Preparing

The method of preparation is a crucial component in assuring the safety of carpaccio. The environment in which carpaccio is made, as well as the utensils and surfaces used, should be clean and hygienic.

To reduce the chance of contamination, the flesh should be thinly sliced with a sharp knife. Until it is time to serve, carpaccio should be stored correctly in the refrigerator.

Freezing the meat before preparing it is one method to guarantee the security of carpaccio. Any possible parasites that might be present can be eliminated by freezing the meat at a temperature of -4°F for at least 10 days.

All bacteria won’t be eliminated by freezing, so it’s still crucial to manage and prepare the meat correctly.

Toppings

When it comes to the toppings used in carpaccio, if they are not handled correctly, they can also be dangerous.

Salmon carpaccio and arugula salad with onions and capers

For instance, it is best to avoid using raw egg yolk as a topping because raw eggs can contain dangerous germs like Salmonella.

Choose a cooked egg instead, or another garnish like capers, arugula, or grated parmesan cheese.

When deciding whether to eat carpaccio, it’s essential to take into account your own health. Pregnant women, small children, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illnesses and may want to completely avoid dishes that contain raw meat.

When it comes to eating raw meat, there are ethical factors in addition to safety ones. Consuming raw flesh, in the opinion of some, is cruel or disrespectful to the animal. Others contend that eating raw meat is permissible as long as it is sourced ethically and sustainably.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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