Short Answer: If you accidentally eat uncooked sausage, you might get sick from food poisoning or trichinosis, which are caused by bacteria or parasites in the meat.
Sausage is a type of meat product that is made from ground meat, spices, and sometimes other ingredients, such as cheese or vegetables.
Sausage is usually stuffed into a casing, which can be made from animal intestines or synthetic materials.
Sausage can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked.
If you accidentally eat uncooked sausage, you might get sick because it can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.
These bacteria can cause food poisoning, which can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
In some cases, food poisoning can be severe and even life-threatening.
This is because uncooked sausage can be contaminated with the bacteria during the slaughtering, processing, or handling of the meat.
The bacteria can also grow in the sausage if it is not stored or cooked properly.
Cooking sausage to a safe internal temperature of 160°F can kill the bacteria and prevent food poisoning.
Uncooked sausage can also contain parasites, such as trichinella, which can cause a disease called trichinosis.
Trichinosis is caused by eating raw or undercooked meat that is infested with the larvae of a type of roundworm called Trichinella.
The larvae can migrate from the intestines to the muscles, causing symptoms such as muscle pain, swelling, weakness, fever, headache, and eye inflammation.
Trichinosis can be treated with anti-parasitic drugs, but it can also cause serious complications, such as heart and breathing problems.
Trichinella can be found in pork, wild game, and other animals that eat meat.
The parasite can survive freezing, salting, smoking, or curing of the meat.
The only way to ensure that the meat is free of trichinella is to cook it to a safe internal temperature of 160°F or higher.
It is quite uncommon to eat uncooked sausage due to the health risks and the unpleasant taste and texture.
However, some people may eat uncooked sausage by mistake, such as when they cut into a sausage that looks done from the outside but is still raw inside, or when they eat sausage that has been left out of the refrigerator for too long.
You can prevent food poisoning or trichinosis from eating uncooked sausage by following these steps:
- Check the expiration date and the packaging of the sausage before buying or eating it. Do not buy or eat sausage that is past its expiration date, has a foul odor, or has signs of mold or damage.
- Store the sausage in the refrigerator or freezer according to the instructions on the label. Do not leave the sausage at room temperature for more than two hours, or more than one hour if the temperature is above 90°F.
- Cook the sausage thoroughly until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 160°F or higher. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the sausage. Do not rely on the color or appearance of the sausage to determine if it is done.
- Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces that come into contact with raw sausage with hot, soapy water. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw sausage separate from other foods, especially ready-to-eat foods.
If you suspect that you have eaten uncooked sausage and have symptoms of food poisoning or trichinosis, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs to treat the infection.
You may also need to drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms.
Finally, remember, sausage is a delicious and versatile food that can be enjoyed in many ways, but it is also a potential source of food-borne illness if not handled and cooked properly.
Always follow the food safety guidelines when buying, storing, and cooking sausage, and do not eat uncooked sausage under any circumstances.