Half-Cooked Meat: What You Should Know About Them


Barbecue chicken and beef are usually a delight to consume any day, any time. For many of those residing in major metropolitan cities, it has become a meal they cannot do without. Foreign ways of cooking meat products are gradually crippling into our country and we are beginning to throw away simple food safety procedures that we adhered to in time past.

I recently visited a fast food and I noticed that the fried chicken on my food was not well cooked after I took a bite. I could sense it from the taste and eventually from the looks. On getting home, I had to book an appointment with the toilet to download some watery brown files….lol….I am certain you know what I mean. This is gradually becoming the norm in many high tech restaurants while pretending under the disguise of not making the meat lose their nutritive value.

Half-cooked meat berbecue
Photo: swide.com

This article is not set out to encourage overcooking but I believe it is a better choice to overcook your meat and avoid all the poisonings that could come from E. coli or Salmonella while losing some nutritive values than to undercook them in a bit to get more nutritive values but get submerged in the pains of food poisoning.

The strict vaccination policies adhered to in many of these countries where meat products are majorly undercooked are not available here in Nigeria and if available, no one is ensuring strict compliance of the laws or policies by animal rearers. In view of this, when you undercook meat such that the internal fluids are clearly seen; then you must be risking falling ill due to poisoning.

Many proponents of undercooked foods have argued that you should not rely on your senses to determine if meat products are safely cooked or not. Some also stressed that the pink colour does not indicate undercooking and that it is the use of a thermometer than can help ascertain. Let us face the average kitchen reality, in our country, is this practicable? My answer is No. Our senses have always played an important role in food sensory analysis. Human judgement on food quality is more accurate than any equipment. After all the foods will be served to humans.

Bottom line, I think we all know when our meats are well cooked and we should henceforth quit embracing this half cooked meat method that can endanger our lives and that of our children whose internal organs are not yet well developed to be exposed to such health hazard.

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Oladipupo Abioye
Oladipupo is a Pediatric Nutritionist with Lagos State Ministry of Health. He is an adventurous foodie and loves to teach and render presentations on foods and nutritional topics at different symposia. He loves Messi but Chelsea FC is his baby.

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