Bacon is already processed meat, but there are different ways to prepare and cure it.
Depending on the preparation and the type of meat, you may need to cook bacon, while some need no cooking.
We prepare and process turkey bacon by smoking it and then curing it.
It is no different from preparing other meats, processing them, and curing them: the idea is to prolong their shelf life and make them more delectable.
Turkey bacon is similar to how we prepare other meats; when you prepare and cure the meat to become bacon, you add some preservatives and then smoke it.
Those can affect the taste and texture; bacon, though made of some meat, is altogether different once processed.
The question then: can you eat turkey bacon raw?
Can You Eat Turkey Bacon Raw?
It is one of the $64,000 questions on the net, but to put the matter to rest, you can eat turkey bacon raw.
Unlike other meat and even bacon, turkey bacon, by way of preparation, preserving, and curing, is cooked already.
As such, there is no harm in eating it raw.
But some clarification is in order; there is turkey bacon, then there is uncured turkey bacon.
If you have uncured turkey bacon, you have to cook it; this is because uncured turkey bacon, by definition, is still raw meat, not the cooked turkey bacon we are talking about.
Uncured turkey bacon is cured using natural nitrates, while cured turkey bacon uses other chemicals and synthetic nitrates.
A turkey bacon, prepared thoroughly, preserved, and cured with preservatives, is already cooked.
For cured turkey bacon, safe for raw consumption, we can consider the term “raw turkey bacon” a misnomer.
So, everything else will still depend on how manufacturers prepare, cure, and package the turkey bacon.
If everything is done properly, yes, there is no problem eating turkey bacon raw, but why is it a big deal anyway?
Read More: Want to know the real score about bacon?
Is Eating Raw Meat Dangerous?
The question persists because eating raw meat has some perils, especially those not undergone processing, curing, and proper way of preserving.
You cook meat not only to taste better but also to kill bacteria and other germs.
If you eat uncooked, unprocessed meat, you can have bacteria and germs. The chances of food poisoning are high if you eat raw meat.
That should be a no-brainer, for even meat that is half-cooked or cooked improperly poses a danger to anyone, much more raw meat.
But again, there is this lingering question because of the status of Turkey bacon as bacon.
How Does Turkey Bacon Differ From Others?
In the case of pork bacon, one of the most common in the market, you need to cook it thoroughly, fried or oven it to be truly safe to eat.
Pork bacon is not that different from pork meat; you still need to cook it regardless.
It is the only way to ensure that it tastes better and remains safe for consumption.
With turkey bacon, however, it is exactly the opposite. You can eat it raw as long as it is processed and cured properly.
It is because the way you process the turkey bacon, you are cooking it already.
That is not the case with pork bacon.
But since most of us are unfamiliar with how to process bacon, we think that every bacon undergoes the same processing and that the nature of the meat is always the same.
Hence, since we need to cook pork bacon, we think it is the same as turkey bacon.
But no, it is not, and nothing separates more turkey bacon from pork bacon than the fact that you can eat it raw.
Why Do I Have to Cook Turkey Bacon If That is the Case?
But saying it is safe to eat raw turkey bacon does not mean you must prefer it. There are some downsides, though not necessarily harmful.
We all want crisp bacon, whether pork or turkey bacon, and it seems eating it without the crisp is the very antithesis of eating bacon. It defeats its very purpose.
So, imagine eating raw bacon, which is cold, not crisp, and you get the drift.
I doubt anyone in your household would want to eat turkey bacon raw, even if it is turkey bacon.
Even if it is safe, it still has a high risk of spoilage, unlike a cooked one.
A thoroughly cooked turkey bacon, crisper and more delectable, is in less danger of spoilage than raw or uncooked turkey bacon.
Why Have Turkey Bacon Instead of Pork?
There are a lot of benefits to consuming turkey bacon instead of pork.
For one, it has fewer calories and is ideal for those who want to lose weight or lessen their caloric intake.
It has less saturated fats than pork, at least one-fourth less than your usual pork bacon.
It is best for those who want to cut down on their intake of fats or want to regulate it.
In general, we can say that turkey bacon is healthier than pork bacon, but like something healthy, you need to give something in return.
Since it contains less grease, it is not as crisp as pork bacon, even when cooked or fried thoroughly.
It also contains less sugar and protein, and those needing more might consider pork bacon the better alternative.
However, those who may want to sacrifice crispiness and taste for health would do better by having turkey bacon instead of pork bacon.
But of course, you must complement your eating habits with other healthy habits.
Again to the question, “can you eat turkey bacon raw?” The answer is yes, provided it is thoroughly preserved, properly processed, and cured.
You need to look at the packaging, for uncooked turkey bacon means it uses natural nitrates, and you need to cook them.
But for those that are cured, we can consider it cooked already; no harm in eating it raw.
But as for me, I will prefer cooked, crisper turkey bacon, never mind if it is not as crispy as pork bacon.