Steak and Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition characterized by the thinning of the stool, sometimes associated with severe urges to empty the bowels, gas or bloating. Diarrhea can be both a distinct condition or a symptom of another illness. Diarrhea commonly occurs as a result of foods you eat, particular proteins such as steak if they have come into contact with bacteria or were cooked improperly.

Temporarily eliminating steak from your diet is a good idea while you have diarrhea. (Image: Kesu01/iStock/Getty Images)


Diarrhea can begin as soon as you eat a certain food or several hours or a day later when the food begins to fully decompose in the intestines. The severity and duration of diarrhea often varies, but you should monitor both of these elements and discuss them with your physician to prevent dehydration.


If steak is not cooked properly, bacteria does not die, and it can be introduced into your digestive system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service recommends eating steak after the internal temperature has reached at least 145 degrees F., which is usually a cooking level of medium. Although dishes such as beef carpaccio and steak tartar contain raw beef, they are neutralized in citrus juice or some type of acid to kill the bacteria normally killed during the cooking process.

Diarrhea and Steak

In some cases, you may experience diarrhea as the result of contracting a virus or other illness. During this time, you should avoid fatty or highly-seasoned foods. This often includes steak. In addition, it takes longer for your body to break down red meat than other proteins and can increase the severity of your diarrhea because of the imbalance in your digestive system. Instead, choose neutral foods such as rice, toast or bananas. Baked or broiled chicken is a better option over red meat or steak as a protein source.


To prevent contracting diarrhea from steak, look for a medium to medium-well level of doneness to minimize the likelihood of ingesting residual bacteria. Choose lean cuts of steak with minimal fat, because consuming increased amounts of fat can contribute to diarrhea.

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