Ohio company recalled raw pork sausage products over contamination fears. In the representational image, Heath Miles, Speedway Club Executive Chef, prepares a two-pound 'No Limits Barbeque Sandwich' at Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 3, 2010. Gettyimage/Tom Pennington

In the wake of recent news of an 18-year-old man dying after consuming undercooked pork, the case against eating raw meats is once again highlighted.

Scientifically speaking, it’s not fine to eat any kind of meat that is not cooked properly, though some exceptions can be made for certain preparations of fish and beef. When it comes to chicken and pork, however, eating them raw is never alright and can lead to infection, serious long-term debilitation and illness and even death.

Chicken and Pork: No

Why is it fine to eat sushi and rare steaks, but not okay to eat undercooked chicken and pork? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that this is because the composition of chicken and pork meats make it easy for parasitic worms to thrive and multiply.

Improperly cooked pork, for instance, may house parasites called Trichinella spiralis, which can eventually lead to trichinosis, with symptoms include muscle pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever. Meanwhile, raw chicken may contain campylobacter, clostridium perfingens and salmonella bacteria.

Beef and Fish: OK

Fish is a good option for those who don’t want to wait for food to cook, which is why sushi places are so popular worldwide. The reason why people don’t usually react negatively to eating raw fish is because fish is caught in cold water and then usually frozen before being served. The freezing process kills the cysts and parasites that is present in the meat, if any.

In terms of evolution, scientists also said that fewer microbes cross over between mammals and fish, which makes the latter relatively safe to consume raw.

Beef is also generally alright to consume undercooked and pink, but do so with caution. It is recommended to eat beef that’s grass-fed to ensure its safety. And because strong, grass-consuming cows have a healthy immune system, they are not much of a threat to humans when they are consumed raw.

Some nutritionists, however, say that beef that is ground may still contain some pathogens, especially when they packaged. This is because they might have been sourced from different cows, one of which might have been contaminated. As a precaution, nutritionists recommend that burgers never be consumed if it’s still pink or red at the center.

With all that said, the US Department of Agriculture advised that people should use a meat thermometer to test meats for readiness when you’re cooking them.

The ideal temperatures for cooking pork are as follows: 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground pork patties and mixtures, 145 degrees Fahrenheit for chops and steaks, and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for organ and variety meats.