Can raw meat touch vegetables | steps to consider before consuming


raw chicken and raw vegetables touching before roasting in a roasting pan
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Raw meat contains bacteria that could cause foodborne illness when eaten. It is always important to properly prepare and cook meat regardless of what you are cooking it with. But, can raw meat touch vegetables?

Yes, raw meat can touch vegetables when you are preparing or cooking them together. If they touch in the preparation process, thermal treatment is crucial afterward. Putting raw meat and veggies in the same pan, is not a problem, so long as both are fully cooked thoroughly before eating them. 

Oh, how that stir-fry food looks delightful, but knowing whether you should throw in the raw meat together with the veggies may stump even the best of cooks. Or, think about a delicious chili or soup recipe that calls for slow-cooking raw meat alongside veggies in a crockpot. Don’t worry about tossing in veggies with that meat so long as you cook the meat well.

Can raw meat come in contact with fresh vegetables (preparation, cooking, storing)

It is safe for raw meat such as beef, chicken, or others to touch vegetables while preparing them or cooking them in the same pan. So, what is the safest way to handle raw meat with vegetables during preparation, cooking, and storing?

Preparation

When preparing raw meat and vegetables together, there are certain things you should be aware of to avoid cross-contamination. 

Raw meat can come in contact with veggies if you cut them on the same cutting board. The same goes for if you put them in the same container after they have been sliced or chopped.

To avoid cross-contamination while cutting and slicing, use a different cutting board for meat and a separate cutting board for veggies. Using another cutting board is the best solution not just to avoid cross-contamination but also to avoid the transfer of color and taste to ingredients.

If you use the same cutting board for both meat and veggies, you can do that just as long as you cook the ingredients properly.

If you put veggies and meat in the same containers during preparation, make sure you properly cook them before eating. 

Keep in mind that raw meat will leave bacteria on everything it comes into contact with. 

Any cutting boards, knives, utensils, or bowls you use for preparation will need to be washed after use.

Cooking

Choose several cooking methods for your raw meat and vegetable recipes. The important thing to remember is to make sure the cooking heat reaches a high enough temperature to make sure everything is cooked thoroughly.

The proper cooking temperature is going to depend on what type of meat you’re cooking. Here is how hot specific types of meat need to be cooked at for healthy eating:

  • Beef, pork, or lamb needs to be cooked to at least 145 degrees F, about 63 degrees C
  • Ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F, about 71 degrees C
  • Chicken needs to be cooked to at least 165 degrees F, about 74 degrees C

Storing

Let’s say you prepare everything for your dinner in the morning. In order to keep the ingredients fresh, you need to keep them in the fridge until dinner. It’s ok to put meat and veggies in the same container because raw meat and vegetables can touch while they are stored in the fridge, just as long as you cook them properly afterward.

Can raw chicken touch vegetables?

It is safe to let the raw chicken touch vegetables while you are cooking them together in the same pan. Just be sure to make sure the cooking temperatures reach 165 degrees F, about 74 degrees C to ensure safe cooking practices.

Can you marinate raw meat and vegetables together?

kebab, meat and veggies touching

It is perfectly fine to marinate raw meat such as beef, pork, or chicken together with vegetables. Many do this with kabobs or to add flavor and make meats like beef, chicken, or pork more tender.

Keep in mind, however, that vegetables don’t really need to be marinated. If you choose to combine the two for marinating, you will be doing it more to enhance the flavor of the meat.

The important thing to remember is to eat the vegetables that have been marinated with the raw meat only after it has been properly cooked. 

Can you cook raw meat with vegetables in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook raw meat with vegetables together in a slow cooker. The same rule of thumb applies with a slow cooker as with cooking meat and veggies together in a pan. Regardless of whether you use a pan or a slow cooker, the important factor to remember is to make sure both the meat and the veggies are thoroughly cooked before eating.

Here’s why it’s ok to cook meat and vegetables in a slow cooker:

  • A slow cooker, as the name implies, cooks food slowly. It uses a low temperature, but it cooks the food for a long time.
  • The cooking temperature in a crockpot or other slow cooker is typically between 170 to 280 degrees F, about 77 to 138 degrees C. So, even at the lowest slow-cooking temperature, you are attaining the necessary temperatures needed to properly cook the meat.
  • When the lid is secured onto the slow cooker, the steam is sealed in to cook well.

One word of advice:

Don’t just throw a large frozen piece of meat, like a whole chicken, into the slow cooker. Cut it into pieces so that the heat can properly cook it entirely.

Can you stir-fry raw meat and vegetables together?

It is fine to stir-fry veggies with raw meat. However, you could overcook the vegetables if you do so. Since stir-fry cooks so fast, you will want to make sure you have plenty of time to get the meat cooked without overcooking the vegetables. To get the tastiest results, when stir-frying raw meat with vegetables, you will want to start cooking the meat first.

To be extra safe, you can even cook the meat and then scoop it out onto a dish before cooking the veggies. Once the vegetables start to heat up, then add the meat back into the pan.

Conclusion

Yes, it’s safe if raw meat and vegetables touch in the same pan or slow cooker. Don’t worry about cross-contamination so long as you make sure both the meat and the veggies are thoroughly cooked before eating them.

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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