Why Do We Eat Raw Fish But Not Raw Chicken?

Why Do We Eat Raw Fish But Not Raw Chicken?


Have you ever been snacking on some sashimi
and paused to wonder: why do we eat raw fish but not raw chicken? Really, eating any kind of raw meat comes
with some health risk to humans, depending on how it was slaughtered, stored, and prepared. But some are more iffy than others, because
different animals have different microbes and parasites inside them, some of which are
really nasty to humans. Fish is on the safer end of the spectrum. It doesn’t usually carry bacteria that are
harmful to humans, but we do have to watch out for parasitic worm larvae like , tapeworms,
or flukes. If you eat infected raw fish, the larvae will
mature into worms that can latch onto organs and cause some serious damage. Sometimes fish is frozen for storage, and
if it’s cold enough, any parasites or bacteria hanging around will die. But cooking fish is the best way to make sure
everything infectious is gone. But if your sushi comes from a clean, reputable
kitchen, it’s probably safe to eat. Now, what about other meats, like beef, chicken,
and pork? The bacteria that live in these animals, like
strains of Salmonella and E. coli, tend to be more dangerous to humans than any that
live in fish. Many harmful microbes live in cattle guts,
not the muscle where we get cuts of steak. But beef can be contaminated if a butcher
punctures the digestive tract. So steaks might have bacteria on the surface. Usually a good, hot sear is enough to kill
off anything infectious, and leaving the inside red is fine, because it’s sterile in there. Ground beef is more treacherous, because any
germs living on the surface of the meat get mixed inside. Plus, it tends to contain meat from multiple
animals, so one contaminated cow means bad news for an entire batch of ground beef. That’s why you should probably not order
totally rare hamburgers — they should be cooked all the way through. The meats firmly on the dangerous-when-raw
list are chicken and pork, which might be carrying even more harmful microbes than beef. Infectious, diarrhea-causing Campylobacter strains can live in chicken guts. And the crowded, dirty conditions at many
chicken farms mean that lots of raw chicken may be contaminated. Pigs, on the other hand, have historically harbored the parasitic worm Trichinella spiralis,
although modern farming practices mostly prevent it from spreading. The larvae form cysts inside the muscle tissue
of pigs, so if you eat infected, undercooked pork, some worms will make a home in your
guts. So sushi and rare steaks can be delicious
when they’re prepared safely, but you should always pass on the pork tartare. Thanks for asking, and thank you especially to
all of our patrons on Patreon who keep these answers coming. If you’d like to submit questions to be
answered, or get videos a few days earlier, you can go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
and subscribe!

100 thoughts on “Why Do We Eat Raw Fish But Not Raw Chicken?

  1. It should be noted that some other avian species are pretty much fine rare. Squab, duck, and goose are fine to eat rare…with goose being so rarely contaminated that it's pretty much safe to eat fully raw.

  2. Can we kill all microbs using high x-ray dose? I mean, if someone like raw food so badly and will do everything to make them safe to eat……what r the possible/economical way?

  3. Beef cannot be perfectly sterile inside due to the practice of frankensteining. This is a process of "glueing pieces of meat together. Raw, professional chefs have a hard time detecting it. Once cooked, it's nearly impossible to tell. One steak can come from five different cows. I cannot remember the enzyme used. Hopefully someone can give the answer…..

  4. I just texted my friend that I've been craving sushi, and then when I opened YouTube 10 minutes later, this was the top suggested video. :/

  5. There hasn't been a case of triginosis in over 100 years and the USDA has given the ok for pork medium rare and above

  6. I have grilled a pork loin steak before and it was still rather rare on the interior. I ate it anyway and it did taste better than the typical well-done way that we are told to cook it.

  7. Careful about some steaks. They can be cut from multiple cows and glued together with meat glue. It's next to impossible to tell if you're not a well trained expert.

  8. I have a major beef with this video. Pun intended.

    When it shows the steak being pan-seared, then flipped, it has grill marks on the top. I mean, what is this CNN? This is fake news!

  9. Pork loin is actually best eaten slightly pink on the inside. A bit like a medium steak. This is because the muscle tissue in the loin is very dense and any infectious parasites make their way to softer and less dense tissues.

  10. In Germany there is a thing called „Mett“ its ground Pork with onions
    Why doesnt it make People sick?

  11. I love that everytime I click on a scishow video, even if I know the answer to the title I always learn something new.

  12. You know why we have problems with raw meat? We're not carnivores or omnivores. Meat, and other animal based food, is not part of our natural diet. And do you know what this food causes? Diseases, and not just the bacteria kind, but chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart problems, obesity, etc.

  13. lol I gave myself a nasty case of food poisoning by attempting to cook chicken (I'm not domesticated). Didn't recognise symptoms, got progressively sick, ended up getting taxi to A&E where I was put in my own room cause they were concerned that I had a tropical disease as I was a bit delirious. After a bag of IV fluid and some morphine for pain I was a lot better, though still couldn't provide a urine sample, I was that dehydrated.

    So yeh, I'm super anal about how my meat is cooked now 😀 Won't even eat sushi, just the veggie version (whatever that's called).

  14. I once ate raw chicken i dunno why but it looked delicious and the taste was not that bad but if felt so weord on the tongue

  15. Now as the fish thing is very true. But the truth is any kind of raw fish can easily carry one of thousands of different kinds of worms…. look it up

  16. Raw chicken is very common in Japan. It's called Torisashi or Tataki depending on how it's prepared. It's exrtremely unadvisable to do that with chicken bought in the UK or US however. The chicken in Japan used for this has been bred and slaughtered under specific conditions to minimise the risk of infection to consumers. Here in the west our chickens live in filth – it's just not safe to eat unless cooked thoroughly.

  17. I'm a trained cook, so let me say a "hardmedum-medium well" is acceptable for pork chops as the tricinosis sparilium eggs die at arounf a temp of 145-150-ish. all poultry should be 165, no question unless its duck. For some reason its totes ok to eat duck at 145 (medium). I'm not 100.5% sure why but I'm glad cause a medium duck breast is heaven, so nom.

  18. I'm pretty sure I saw chicken sashimi at a restaurant in Nagoya Station in Japan. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I remember that.

    Anyone in Nagoya right now who can confirm?

  19. As a chef I can say that you can eat your pork loin perfectly medium. No need to cook it Al the way trough.
    And there is a classic German dish with raw pork mince.
    These days your pork is stuffed with hormones and anti biotic. It's quit safe.

  20. But I hear that pink slime is more dangerous than dying from infected ground beef. Also, getting tapeworms from sushi isn't as bad as people claim. I mean, what's wrong with carrying a few cute little stringies inside your guts?

  21. Actually, there is sashimi sasami (raw chicken) available in many regions of Japan. The meat used is not regular supermarket chicken, but is prepared by a specialist toriya.

  22. I saw some people posting pictures online of them eagerly wanting to eat chicken that looks not only bland and under seasoned, but also still raw on the inside when you cut into it. Are these people crazy?

  23. raw pork is a delicacy in most parts of europe, and even in New York some restaurants have decided to serve pork medium-rare. There have been maybe 3 or 4 cases per year of these worms in the last couple of years and most of them were from pork bought from farmers markets that aren't as well regulated as most butchers or supermarkets. If you have a butcher that you trust is hygienic you can eat raw pork without any real risk. If you don't trust them, then you shouldn't eat their meat even when cooked to a piece of charcoal.

  24. I'm a antifishaterian it means I don't eat fish, this video was kind of creepy to me to see so many dead fish is anyone else unerved?

  25. In the US most fish are frozen to below -30°F, which kills parasites. This doesn't do anything to bacteria though. Don't eat raw freshwater fish, because they have a higher chance of carrying parasites. So don't eat Tilapia raw, because it's a freshwater fish not a saltwater fish. If you are really worried about parasites, and bacteria eat Unagi(Freshwater Eel). Unagi is broiled before the restaurants get it, and when they do get it they broil it again before serving.

  26. I can't imagine raw chicken tasting very nice or having a nice mouthfeel. But then again I don't really like sashimi either.

  27. I’m gunna die very soon I eat roadkill everyday I swear that I saw a ringworm crawl out of my poop

  28. aTLeasT EaT SoMeThin ThaTs MosT aLive n Which Keeps u ALive!
    How The HeLL u cn LiVe well EaTinG DeaD RoTTen DeComposed FooD
    aLso Which is ParTiaLLy MurDereD!
    How people are preferrin To Have SucH DeTerioRaTeD Kind oF Thing Which is LonG DeaD
    That is in The process oF DeCoMposiTioN
    Above that u cook iT Further
    N call iT FooD!

  29. I still refuse to eat sushi for one simple reason: like half of all the stories on "medical mystery" shows about parasites are ultimately traced back to eating raw seafood prepared "in traditional ways" (which is often just an excuse to not be sanitary).

  30. OK Japan is a real first world. America 🇺🇸 is like third world country compared to their standards.

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