its harmful to eat not very well cooked meat? i have noticed in youtube some recipes, that the beef is half cook, with the inside red or pinky, and the outside browned, i know that eating raw animals like beef and other meats existing could be harmful because the bacterias that it might contain. for example maybe when making for example a beef wellington, that its baked pretty thick to get cook well and it does have in the inside that pinky color after baked, well i dont know if is there a posibility that the meat does really cook well in the inside killing bacterias such like salmonella for example?..if yes that which means it doesnt matter if it looks pinky inside?. i accustom to cook the meat very well and longer enough, same as other meats that might be white or red ones...

  • Asking about meat this generally won't get you great answers. Are you asking about beef, pork, lamb, fish, chicken? Also, a lot of how well meat gets cooked is cultural so what country are you living in? As dyes and hues of spices can colour meat quite drastically.
    – J Crosby
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 20:36
  • @JCrosby i mean specifically beef, but this also can apply to other known red meats, even white ones. Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 21:52
  • so I'm guessing you have never tried steak tartare...
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 12:44
  • @Luciano lol never i would try something like that xD, egg yolks are passable to eat but nore meat xDxDxD Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 14:47
  • If you open up your mind and try new dishes you'll be blown away by the flavours. Or not, but at least you'll learn something new :)
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 8:07

2 Answers 2


I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice--just my view of the current best practices recommended by sources I trust.

It depends on the kind of bacteria or parasites commonly found on the food in question. Chickens are often infected with Campylobacter or Salmonella, and those bacteria can get into the flesh of the meat. So cooking chicken thoroughly is strongly recommended. And in my opinion, raw chicken isn't that palatable anyway so there's no reason to take the risk.

It used to be common for pork to be infected with Trichinella (a parasite) which also made its way into the meat, so it was recommended that pork be cooked well. Nowadays that's actually pretty rare, and you can even find irradiated pork that is free of parasites and thus safe to eat semi-rare.

Fish harbor parasites. Sushi bars kill them by hard-freezing the fish to kill the parasites before thawing and serving the fish raw (at least in the US--Japanese often just take their chances). It is not recommended that you try this at home--cook your fish thoroughly and save sushi for a night out at a bar you trust.

Beef contamination (such as E.Coli) is generally found only on the surface of the meat and not on the deep interior. So a steak well-seared on the outside and rare in the center is generally safe (and delicious--rare beef is juicy and flavorful while well-done beef is leathery and bland). Grinding moves all that surface around, so ground beef should be cooked well, unless you take special precautions like irradiation or sear-then-grind.

Lamb is similar to beef but current recommendations are to cook to 145, which is distinctly medium. I personally like my lamb a little pinker than that, but that's my choice--I don't have a lot of information on the specific risks there.

Fruit and vegetables are similar to beef, in that contamination is generally found only on the outside. Some are washed with chemical disinfectants; others can be simply peeled. Pre-packaged pre-cut fruit mixes and salads are notorious for being overhandled and contaminated by grocers. Buy whole, and make the salads yourself.

If by "very well cooked" you mean "charred to death on a grill", there is some evidence linking over-charred meats to some cancers, but it's not definitive at this point.

Of course nothing is completely safe, and food-borne illness can happen regardless of best intentions and practices. You must decide your own practices based on your health and level of comfort.

  • 2
    Great answer! Another thing that could be added: It is strongly suggested, that pregnant women in particular shouldn't eat any kind of raw meat! This is in part because of the above mentioned possible infections which could endanger the unborn child, but in particular the toxoplasmosis parasite. It is not dangerous to a healthy adult human, but can be devastating to an unborn.
    – Gretel_f
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 6:32

The short answer to your question is simply, “No, eating ‘not very well cooked beef’ will not be harmful to you.”

That said, there are a few mitigating factors that should be considered. Bacteria like to live on the surface of beef, so on cuts like roasts or steaks having it not cooked all the way through (so it would be pink to red, varying degrees of “rare”) is fine and in fact some people prefer this taste to having it well done all the way through. However, when cooking ground beef (or beef mince) you should cook it all the way through as this cut is made up of tiny pieces of other cuts of meat (and potentially other cows) so the chance for contamination is higher. The same logic can apply to mechanically tenderized cuts (so a machine tenderizes the meat by force or injection) and as a result of the machine coming into contact with so many cuts of meat in rapid succession there is an increased chance of contamination there as well.

I have included a link that I think would help you as well.

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