can you eat peameal bacon raw

The Raw Truth About Eating Peameal BaconBy John Smith

As a bacon lover I was excited when I first tried peameal bacon, the Canadian specialty made from pork loin coated in cornmeal. Its texture is juicier than regular bacon with a milder, maple flavor that makes a tasty sandwich or breakfast. But I was disappointed when I realized I couldn’t just grab a few raw strips to snack on. So what happens if you eat raw peameal bacon? Let’s find out.

What is Peameal Bacon?
Peameal bacon comes from the lean boneless pork loin, which is wet-cured in a brine of water, salt, sugar and spices. This curing process draws moisture out of the meat to preserve it. After curing, the pork loin gets rolled in ground yellow cornmeal, which gives peameal bacon its signature texture and name. The cornmeal coating originally came from rolling the loin in dry yellow peas, but cornmeal has been used since World War I.

Unlike belly bacon, peameal bacon doesn’t contain as much fat. It also isn’t smoked like American bacon for flavor. The curing and cornmeal coating give peameal bacon its distinctive maple flavor and texture once cooked. When raw, it looks more like a pork roast or tenderloin.

Is Raw Peameal Bacon Safe to Eat?
While peameal bacon is delicious cooked, it should never be eaten raw. Raw pork can contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause foodborne illness:

  • Salmonella – Causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps
  • Listeria monocytogenes – Causes fever, muscle aches, nausea
  • Escherichia coli – Causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea

In addition, the raw pork used to make peameal bacon may contain the Trichinella roundworm, which can cause trichinosis. This leads to symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and weakness.

So while the curing process helps preserve peameal bacon, it does not make it safe to eat raw. Thorough cooking is necessary to kill any dangerous organisms in raw pork and render peameal bacon safe to eat.

What are the Risks of Eating Raw Peameal Bacon?
Consuming raw peameal bacon comes with significant health risks:

  • Food Poisoning – Raw pork often contains Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other bacteria that cause vomiting, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms.

  • Parasitic Infection – The Trichinella parasite can live in raw peameal bacon and cause trichinosis when ingested. This leads to diarrhea, muscle pain, eye swelling and weakness.

  • Toxic Reactions – Some raw pork contains toxins that can cause headaches, dizziness, sweating and neurological reactions. These toxins are neutralized when cooked.

In rare cases, foodborne illnesses from raw meats can even lead to reactive arthritis or kidney failure. Raw peameal bacon simply isn’t worth taking the chance on getting sick.

Proper Cooking Guidelines for Peameal Bacon
To enjoy peameal bacon safely, it’s important to handle and cook it properly:

  • Cook to an Internal Temperature of 145°F – This temperature kills dangerous organisms like Salmonella or E. coli.

  • Avoid Cross-Contamination – Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw pork. Wash hands after handling raw bacon.

  • Don’t Eat the Ends – The irregular ends of peameal bacon cure less evenly. Cook them more thoroughly or discard.

  • Fry, Bake or Grill – Pan frying, baking and grilling are all safe cooking methods. Microwaving may not heat the bacon evenly.

  • Store Properly – Keep raw peameal bacon refrigerated at 40°F or below until ready to cook.

Follow these handling and preparation tips, and peameal bacon can be enjoyed safely. The health risks simply aren’t worth eating it raw.

Healthy and Delicious Ways to Cook Peameal Bacon
Once you’ve got some properly cooked peameal bacon, there are all kinds of tasty ways to enjoy it:

  • Breakfast Sandwich – Fried eggs, cheese and peameal bacon on an English muffin is a hearty way to start your day.

  • Baked Peameal Bacon – Roast whole slices at 400°F for 25-30 minutes until crispy for bacon that’s less greasy.

  • Peameal Bacon Wrapped Scallops – Surround seared scallops with partially cooked bacon and bake until the bacon gets crispy.

  • Peameal Bacon Onion Jam – Caramelize onions with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, then mix in bites of peameal bacon. Spread on sandwiches or burgers.

  • Peameal Bacon Mac and Cheese – Mix crispy crumbled peameal bacon into macaroni and cheese for a smoky, salty flavor bump.

  • Peameal Bacon Breakfast Pizza – Top a baked pizza crust with cheese, scrambled eggs and crispy peameal bacon bits.

With so many possibilities for cooked peameal bacon, there’s no need to eat it raw and risk foodborne illness. Properly cooked, peameal bacon can add its signature maple flavor to all kinds of dishes.

The Takeaway on Eating Raw Peameal Bacon
While peameal bacon offers a juicy, milder take on bacon flavor, it should never be consumed raw. Raw pork poses health hazards from bacteria, parasites, toxins and other microorganisms that thorough cooking destroys. Consuming raw peameal bacon can lead to food poisoning, parasitic infections and other issues. Always cook peameal bacon to at least 145°F internal temperature before eating to avoid foodborne illness. With proper cooking, peameal bacon can be enjoyed safely in a wide range of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes. So skip eating it raw, and discover safe, healthy ways to incorporate peameal bacon’s trademark flavor into your cooking routine.

What is Peameal Bacon? — Dining on a Dime Toronto


Can you eat Canadian bacon raw?

Information. In the United States, “Canadian” bacon is plain lean “back bacon” made from the loin, and it is trichina treated but must be cooked before using.

Is it OK if bacon is a little raw?

No, it’s not safe to eat raw bacon. Even though bacon has been preserved through the curing process, it has not been cooked. Like other foods you should never eat raw, consuming raw or undercooked meat puts you at risk of foodborne illness from viruses, bacteria or parasites.

What is peameal bacon called in the US?

Some Americans refer to peameal bacon as ‘Canadian bacon‘. However, ‘Canadian-style bacon’ or ‘Canadian back bacon’ are terms used by the U.S.-based North American Meat Institute for an American style of smoked back bacon.

Is Canadian bacon and peameal bacon the same thing?

It’s called peameal or back bacon in Canada…. To my knowledge, only Americans call it Canadian bacon…

Does peameal bacon need to be cooked?

And peameal bacon must be cooked before serving, according to Food Network, which recommends griddling the peameal bacon, noting that the pork can also be cooked by baking, barbecuing, or roasting. How does peameal bacon stack up nutritionally?

Is peameal bacon healthy?

However, in general, peameal bacon is a good source of protein and contains fewer calories and fat than regular bacon. Additionally, it’s a good option for those who are following a low-carb diet, as it contains only 2 grams of net carbs per serving. Peameal bacon has some health benefits, but also some risks that should be considered.

Can you eat raw bacon?

Bacon is not cooked when it is in its raw state. Even though it has been preserved through the curing process, consuming raw or undercooked meat, including bacon, puts you at risk of foodborne illness from viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Raw pork may contain the following types of bacteria, which are all killed when cooked:

Can you roast a whole peameal bacon?

Peameal Bacon is a popular breakfast meat in Canada. If you’re in the US, you might know it as Canadian Bacon. But did you know you can roast a whole unsliced Peameal? This recipe with a sweet and zesty glaze results in a crusty exterior and juicy interior. Peameal Bacon is a cured pork loin rolled in peameal.

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