Do you like to munch on salami every now and then? However, are you wondering whether or not raw salami is safe to eat? Are you afraid of the possible health consequences of eating raw salami?

Nevertheless, you will be surprised to know that raw salami is not raw at all rather the curing and preservation process makes “raw” salami edible. 

Can you eat salami raw?

You can definitely eat salami raw be it beef, uncured, cured, genoa, and so on. You can eat salami raw because of the fact that salami is in fact “cooked” in the preservation process. The preservation processes like fermentation, dry-curing, hot smoking make salami “ready to eat”.

Salami is made from a myriad of different types of meat and it is rather very important to know which are safe to eat as it is to avoid adverse consequences. 

Uncured:

You can eat uncured salami due to its natural additives that make the uncured salami safe to eat raw. 

Beef:

The longevity of the curing process helps to make beef salami edible as the long curing process helps to mature the meat. 

Genoa:

Almost all salami are meant for eating as it is and genoa salami is nothing different since the dry-cured method makes the salami edible. 

Turkey:

The long fermentation process, curing process, and hot smoking process make turkey salami very much edible even when it is raw. 

Chicken:

One of the reasons why “raw” chicken salami is edible is because of the preservation process which lets the chicken cook in a slow and fermented way.

Chorizo:

Not all chorizo salami is edible when it is raw for example, Spanish chorizo salami can be eaten raw due to its curing and fermentation process however, Mexican chorizo salami have to be cooked before eating. 

Why can you eat salami raw?

There are many reasons why salami is edible raw. In fact, salami is not actually raw due to the processed process nevertheless, the reasons are mentioned below.

Fermentation:

One of the reasons why salami is very much edible raw is due to the process called fermentation. In this process, salami is hanged for two to three days in a very humid room.

In addition, this process helps to grow bacteria that produce lactic acids, and that in turn helps to kill all the dangerous bacteria. 

Hot Smoking Method:

Another reason why salami can be eaten raw is because of the hot smoking process. The meat is cured or prepared at a temperature of sixty-five degrees Celsius for several hours which makes salami very much edible. 

Drying Method:

The drying method is another method that makes the raw salami edible. In the drying method, the meat is ‘cooked’ by drying the meat in a humid environment.

In addition, the meat will thus be dried in its casing and when the casing becomes too dry, a coating of flour will be applied. In this process, the meat matures and flavors multiply in it. 

Dry Cured: 

In a dry-cured method, the meat is first mixed with herbs, spices, and fat. Different types of chemicals such as sodium nitrite, nitrates, and even salt are also used. 

Moreover, the meat is then put in a natural or artificial casing and the salt in the meat removes moisture from the meat meaning it will dry out the meat which makes the raw salami edible. 

Does salami have to be cooked?

It is not necessary to cook salami but you are welcome to if your recipes call for it. 

In addition, salami which is a type of deli meat made out of beef, pork, turkey, and so on is actually “cooked” with dry curing, and fermentation methods. 

Therefore, salami is safe to eat raw but cooking it on the stove will not do any harm. 

What happens if you eat raw salami?

Unless you are allergic to raw salami, no serious health hazards are resulting from eating raw salami. However, pregnant women can be prone to some food-borne illnesses from eating salami raw such as salmonellosis, listeriosis, and toxoplasmosis.

Nevertheless, except for these exceptions, salami is very safe to eat and it will not result in serious health hazards because salami is in fact ‘cooked’ by dry curing method, hot smoked, cold smoked method, fermentation, and so on. 

What is the difference between cured salami and uncured salami?

Salami can be found in both cured and uncured form and the taste may also differ between the two nevertheless, being knowledgeable about the differences of these things can help you to make wiser decisions. 

Preservation Process:

The first and foremost difference lies in the preservation process of the cured and uncured salami. Cured salami is meat that has been preserved with chemicals. These chemicals and additives can range from sodium nitrite, salt, nitrates, and so on.

On the other hand, uncured salami does not have any additives or chemicals in it, rather they are made with natural ingredients and flavorings. 

In addition, celery juice, salt, and beetroot powder are some of the natural things that are used in the preservation process of uncured salami. 

Flavor:

Due to the additives and preservatives, there will be a pretty strong flavor coming from cured salami. 

Typically, the additives and chemicals work to remove any kind of moisture from cured salami therefore, cured salami will taste very salty. 

On the other hand, uncured salami seems to have more moisture and it has a very light flavor, unlike cured salami. 

Longevity:

Even after the preservation process, the longevity or the shelf life of cured and uncured salami is different. 

In addition, due to the adding of additives and preservatives, cured salami tends to last longer than uncured salami. 

Color:

One of the defining characteristics of cured and uncured salami is its appearance. Cured salami tend to have a deep color such as red and conversely, uncured salami tends to have more of a lighter color such as light pink. 

How do you eat uncured salami?

Uncured salami uses ingredients and elements which are natural and the meat can be eaten as it is due to the long curing process however, being aware of the possible ways of eating uncured salami can help you to make appropriate choices. 

Uncooked:

It is the most natural way of eating uncured salami. Uncured salami is made with natural ingredients like salt, vinegar, and so on and all these ingredients help to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. 

In addition, this long curing process ‘cooks’ the meat and makes the uncured salami edible and you can eat it with an array of different things as it is. 

Cooked:

Another step of eating uncured salami is by cooking. Cooking the salami that is already cooked in the preparation process does not take away any flavors from the salami rather the versatility increases when it is cooked. 

Ready to Eat:

Uncured salami be it genoa, beef, or chicken, is “ready to eat” and these are not uncured as beetroot powder, celery juice, celery powder are different forms of nitrates that cures the meat. 

Can you eat salami raw when pregnant?

It is not a good idea to eat salami while you are pregnant. Salami itself is very safe and delicious to eat, but it can cause some food-borne diseases if you are pregnant. 

In addition, listeriosis is a rare foodborne disease that can happen to pregnant women due to the consumption of raw salami. Moreover, it can also cause food poisoning.

Moreover, eating salami raw in pregnancy can also in turn cause illness for your unborn baby although it is very rare. Nevertheless, food-borne illnesses like salmonellosis, listeriosis, and toxoplasmosis can result from eating raw salami while being pregnant.

Additionally, some other side effects of eating salami raw while being pregnant can be diarrhea, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, and so on. 

Can you eat salami straight from the package?

You can definitely eat salami straight from the package because the salami in the packaged version is actually “ready to eat” and you do not need to go through the trouble of curing the salami. 

In addition, another reason why you can eat it straight from the package is due to the fact that salami is ‘dry cured’ meaning it is in a way cooked with a dry process.

Moreover, the dry curing process lets salami mature and cook on its own terms. Therefore, whether to make a quick sandwich with salami or to create simple bread bites with salami, you do not have to go the extra mile to cook it as eating it straight from the package will suffice. 

Final thoughts:

To sum up, nothing can beat the flavor of salami be it cured or uncured. The preparation process of salami includes the inclusion of salt, vinegar, and lactic acid which in turn actually helps to cure and ‘cook’ the meat safely and also inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria.

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