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Very sick from grass-fed steak

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 21, 2011 at 5:58 AM

I made a grass-fed local steak and some veggies tonight for dinner. I put the steak in the fridge last night to defrost, and today when I pulled it out it wasn't completely soft but it wasn't frozen or hard in the middle, just thawing still (I could bend it fairly easily with a bit of resistance). Soon after I ate I started having nearly uncontrollable diarrhea and I just threw up. My stomach is killing me. I know sometimes when I quickly defrost ground beef by putting it under hot water it tastes funny.... I think it's from going from cold to hot too quickly. Do you think this could be causing my sickness? It was all I ate all day and I felt fine earlier. Any suggestions how to feel better? Thank you.

[edit]: I cooked it in bacon grease I saved from 2-3 nights ago. I didn't have a jar so I put it in a small glass cup with an unzipped ziplock on top. Possible cause?

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on December 02, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Bah! I store most of my fats in a jar in the cupboard. Have for ages. It's just fine. I store my bacon grease in a cup on the counter. I don't cover it. For all I know the cat licks it all the time. I never get sick. I eat raw meat a lot though. Maybe I'm just used to the small infections.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:35 PM

I second the re-frozen theory.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:34 PM

rancidity is caused by oxidation, not bacteria. bacon grease is pretty safe stuff, like butter - it rarely has enough moisture in it to foster bacterial growth, even if you leave it out.

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on May 21, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I agree. I think most people associate meat with food poisoning, but vegetables are often the culprit. Check out this recall site from the FDA (admittedly not one of my favorite agencies but they do put out this site - http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm) and you will see a lot of things contaminated with various bacteria, but certainly not all meat.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 21, 2011
at 03:39 PM

Olivia is right, don't defrost meat under hot water anyone. You can defrost it under running cold water however, or submerged in a bowl with cold water that you change a few times, if your meat is shrink wrapped, not paper wrapped. Defrosting under hot water is not safe.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 21, 2011
at 02:29 PM

@Pamipoi - Does the GSE kill other things? Do you have any links to info on that?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 21, 2011
at 11:46 AM

How soon after eating did the illness start?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 21, 2011
at 08:53 AM

Craig, do you have any more info about bacteria in bacon grease ?

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on May 21, 2011
at 06:14 AM

I don't use hot water anymore because it tastes bad. Just referring to when I have in the past. I don't think it's bad enough to go to the ER.... guess I'll just keep making myself throw it up...seems to be the only thing that helps.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 21, 2011
at 06:05 AM

Ummm you aren't supposed to thaw meat in hot water. Anyway sounds like food poisoning since the onset was so fast. Not much you can do but wait it out (or go to the ER if it's really bad, dehydration risk etc.)

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7 Answers

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 21, 2011
at 01:12 PM

Sorry to hear about your illness. I got food poisoning on New Year's Eve from some bad shrimp and boy did it suck.

In my experience, food poisoning sets in about 6-12 hours after eating, i.e. when the food is in the intestines. Immediately after eating the food is in the stomach. Is it possible that you ate something else earlier in the day or the previous day that set you off?

I keep bacon grease in a small cup in the fridge covered with plastic wrap, you didn't say if you had kept yours in the fridge or not. I will keep it for a few weeks this way and have never had a problem, but I am careful to be sure it goes from hot and right into the fridge so it doesn't spend much time at bacteria-growing temperatures (around 90-130F).

I always make sure that meat is completely defrosted before cooking, it should be completely soft all the way through. This is safer and tastes better too. It could be that the steak was still frozen in the middle and the cooking process heated the middle just enough to promote bacteria growth.

But I have eaten meat rare and raw all the time and have never had a problem. The bad shrimp that got me on New Year's was cooked and had been in the fridge about 3-4 days, so it probably spoiled after cooking.

Is there any chance that the steak you bought was thawed and refrozen more than once? This can definitely spoil the meat as bacteria can grow when it thaws the first time and then can lay dormant in a frozen steak. This can theoretically happen at any butcher if they are careless (not trying to implicate your butcher or anything...)

Hard to tell but I would guess it was something else that you ate besides the meat.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:35 PM

I second the re-frozen theory.

1
2193cb1eca1a0eda4b2cad910074634e

on May 21, 2011
at 11:19 AM

I agree with everyone that it sounds like you have experienced food poisoning. Cross-contamination can happen anywhere along the food chain from the butchering of the cow to your thawing, cooking, consumption. Your vegetables could also have been contaminated.

Not just for you but for everyone out there this is a great website teaching food safety. http://www.fightbac.org/

1
2f77caa93f851a52290e01ee90878b67

on May 21, 2011
at 06:58 AM

Bacon grease can go rancid if not refridgerated. Lots of bacteria start growing in a relatively short time period (4 hours after cooling) in bacon grease that isn't stored properly. I keep my bacon grease in a mason jar that goes right into the fridge after each use/refill.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:34 PM

rancidity is caused by oxidation, not bacteria. bacon grease is pretty safe stuff, like butter - it rarely has enough moisture in it to foster bacterial growth, even if you leave it out.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 21, 2011
at 08:53 AM

Craig, do you have any more info about bacteria in bacon grease ?

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on December 02, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Bah! I store most of my fats in a jar in the cupboard. Have for ages. It's just fine. I store my bacon grease in a cup on the counter. I don't cover it. For all I know the cat licks it all the time. I never get sick. I eat raw meat a lot though. Maybe I'm just used to the small infections.

0
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:27 PM

Possibly the bacon grease. It can go rancid, well it will, but not usually so quickly. When I grew up, farm kitchens had a coffee can full of bacon grease that was added to and used from daily... we never got sick.

Food poisoning so quickly? Very unlikely. Most times, it actually takes 12 hours to get sick from food poisoning.

Possibly just...gastroenteritis...it happens to us all at times and we tend to mistakenly blame our food.

0
637042e24e38a81dfc089ef55bed9d46

(826)

on May 21, 2011
at 01:55 PM

If you can get some GSE (grapefruit seed extract) and put 2-5 drops in water or juice and sip it...it will kill whatever pathogen you've got in your gut and shorten your downtime. I've used it a few times and it's very effective and safe to consume. Just don't use too much...it's extremely bitter tasting.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on May 21, 2011
at 02:29 PM

@Pamipoi - Does the GSE kill other things? Do you have any links to info on that?

0
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on May 21, 2011
at 01:06 PM

This could be the vegetables. Were they organically grown from a local farm? You pretty much can't miss with these. Commercial organics are still prone to epidemic outbreaks. Look no further than Earthbound Farms' E. coli incident with their spinach.

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on May 21, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I agree. I think most people associate meat with food poisoning, but vegetables are often the culprit. Check out this recall site from the FDA (admittedly not one of my favorite agencies but they do put out this site - http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm) and you will see a lot of things contaminated with various bacteria, but certainly not all meat.

0
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 21, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Could be cross-contamination from anywhere. Something nasty on your plate, fork, knife, the grease, something before it was packaged. I don't think you can hold the cow responsible, but you may want to mention it to your butcher in case others are having this problem.

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