The Raw Meat Challenge That's Turning Stomachs On TikTok

Although humans have come a long way in terms of immunity and survival, we are still very fragile creatures. Something as small as eating undercooked meat can cause major issues. Per the CDC, about 48 million people a year become ill from foodborne germs, with 128,000 cases leading to hospitalization and 3,000 resulting in death. The most common foods that cause food poisoning are raw meat (chicken, pork, beef, turkey), raw eggs, raw flour, raw milk, raw and unwashed fruits and vegetables, sprouts, seafood, and raw shellfish, according to the CDC.

According to FoodSafety, beef steaks and roasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, while ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking meat to the recommended levels ensures any present bacteria is killed, minimizing your risk of foodborne illnesses and helping you avoid food poisoning. Per the CDC, raw meat could carry salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, clostridium perfringens, and the bacteria that causes taeniasis. However, one TikToker is taking his chances with his raw meat challenge where he eats one raw steak every day until he gets sick.

TikToker embarks on raw meat eating challenge

TikToker @paulylong has a rather interesting diet that consists of mostly raw foods, such as raw eggs, raw organs (livers, hearts, testicles, brains), raw steak, raw salmon, and even his wife's breast milk. He began his raw meat challenge on August 11, 2022, where he recorded himself eating a raw steak for lunch (via TikTok). In his "Day 2" TikTok, he captioned that he will eat one every single day until he gets sick. As of August 24, 2022, he was on an 11-day streak, with his videos getting tons of views — his most popular TikTok "Day 4" is at 4.5 million views and counting.

The comments on his meat challenge TikToks have mostly been a mix of disgust, concern for his health, and simply asking "Why?" Two TikTok users asserted, "Man [I']m watching you and my stomach is feeling sick" and "I think we just regressed as a society." A few others were supporting him and expressed curiosity about a raw meat diet for themselves. "How do you make it look so good[?]," one user wrote. Another wondered, "He's not got[ten] sick yet tho so like can we do this[?]"

Surprisingly, out of all of his meat challenge videos so far, only his "Day 6" video has a safety warning from TikTok: "Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt." His risk of food poisoning is the most obvious concern.