Can You Eat Raw Pancetta?

If you enjoy Italian food, you may be wondering if you can eat raw pancetta without getting sick. This is a commonly asked question as many people are unfamiliar with pancetta and whether or not it can be bought cooked or raw.

This is a type of Italian meat that is thinly sliced and can be eaten in a variety of different ways. Though a lot of people are very unfamiliar with this type of meat and do not know how to cook or serve it.

Pancetta comes from pork, making it extremely important that you make sure you do not eat it fully raw. As raw pork comes with a variety of health risks as it can transmit diseases and parasites through the raw meat.

Because of this, you should always make sure that you are eating safe pork products that are not raw. Keep reading to find out whether or not you can eat raw pancetta without any safety risks.

Pancetta Can be Safely Eaten Raw

If you enjoy eating pancetta, you may be wondering if this type of meat is safe to eat raw. While you shouldn’t eat pancetta raw, the majority of pancetta is going to be dry-cured, which makes it safe to eat as it is.

Pancetta cut into slices

This is because this Italian meat has gone through a process of being dry cured which removes all of the extra moisture. It is not cooked traditionally but is still safe to eat as the meat is no longer raw.

Pancetta is a type of Italian meat that is often referred to as Italian bacon. It is extremely thin and served in slices, with a strict effect that is very similar to how bacon appears.

Many Italian people eat pancetta as it is without putting it through any kind of cooking method. It is often eaten on its own, served with other sides, or added to dishes like pasta.

So this is a great type of me to try out if you are not familiar with it or want to enjoy more Italian food. It is also very handy that you typically do not need to even cook this kind of meat before you enjoy it.

Store Bought Pancetta Is Cured

Now that you know that pancetta is not typically sold raw, you may be wondering if store-bought pancetta is cooked. The good news is that the type of pancetta that stores carry is always going to be cured unless otherwise described.

raw pork belly

You are usually not going to find this type of meat sold raw in any kind of store as most pancetta is cured before being packaged to sell. This curing process helps to remove moisture from the meat, removing the safety risks.

It is not curved by traditional standards but it is salt-cured, which acts as a kind of cooking method. By drying out the meat and removing excess moisture, killing off any bad bacteria, and preserving it.

This is a very traditional way of curing meat so that it can be eaten without necessarily having to be cooked. So store-bought pancetta is perfectly safe to eat straight out of the package as it is not going to be raw.

How Do You Tell If Pancetta Is Safe to Eat?

Now that you know how pancetta is made safe to eat, you may be wondering how to tell if you shouldn’t eat it. Though this type of meat is cured to last for a long time, there are instances where it can go bad.

Especially if it has not been cured properly or not been stored in a way to preserve it for a long time. So there are certain signs that you should watch for to make sure that this type of meat is still safe to eat.

Pink and Damp

The pancetta should be pink and damp if it is safe to eat and fully cured. It may look like it is raw and not safe to eat, but this is how this type of meat typically looks after curing.

It should be a healthy pink color that is not dark red or any other type of color. It should be lightly damp but not slimy or extremely moist.

Raw Pancetta Ham Flatlay

White Fat

Pancetta is very similar to bacon as it has strips of fat included in the meat, creating a strict pattern. These streaks of fat should be either a creamy or bright white color that is healthy and pure.

Pancetta fat should never be yellow or green tinted or any other kind of a natural color. This could indicate that the meat has gone bad and should not be eaten.

Looks Fresh

Though pancetta does have a raw appearance to it, it should always look fresh in order to be safe to eat. It is not supposed to be dry or gray or brown looking in appearance if it is still fresh and safe to eat.

This meat should remain the same color and texture as when you first bought it. If it goes through any changes in appearance, this most likely means that something has gone wrong and the meat is no longer safe to eat.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy eating pancetta, you may be wondering if you can’t eat this kind of meat raw. The good news is that you typically are not going to find raw pancetta being sold in stores as it is salt cured.

This curing process preserves the meat and removes the safety concerns despite the fact that it is not cooked in a traditional manner.