Research – Food Poisoning and Plant-Based Meat

Food Poisoning News

With an ever expanding market of plant-based meats, many consumers are beginning to choose plant-based meat options over animal meat. The growing market is partially attributed to an increasing number of vegetarians and vegans, while others are eating more plant-based meat due to environmental or health concerns. For some, eating a diet of plant-based meat rather than animal meat may be considered healthier; however, there are potentially harmful misconceptions about plant-based meat, specifically surrounding food safety.

There are consumers who falsely assume that because plant-based meat comes from plants, it does not need to be cooked properly like raw animal meat. Although some plants can be eaten raw, the USDA warns that plant-based meat products must be fully cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid growth of foodborne bacteria and pathogens.

One microbiologist and lead scientist of Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS), Anna Porto-Fett, advises consumers to handle raw plant-based meats with the same caution applied to “for example, raw ground beef.”

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