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Can You Eat Spam Raw Straight From The Can? – We Did!

Norah Clark
Tins of spam in a supermarket shelf.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

You can eat Spam raw since all canned foods are pasteurized during the process. Also, you can eat raw spam straight from the can, but the smell can be quite unpleasant.

Spam is a canned meat that is made of minced pork as well as processed in ham.

It is made up of ham, pork, salt, potatoes, water, processed potato starch to bind sugar, and sodium nitrite to preserve it. Natural gelatins are formed during cooking.

Spam was widely used and manufactured in huge amounts throughout World War II rationing and the Lend-lease Act.

Spam is considered a food item in the United States as 'poverty food'. But, as a chef, I don’t think spam should be considered in such a light.

Can You Eat Spam Raw and Is It Safe?

Eating raw Spam is not recommended, as it is a canned meat product that is meant to be cooked before consumption. Consuming it raw may pose a risk of foodborne illness, so it's safer to cook Spam thoroughly before eating.

It is prepared prior to packaging, which reduces the risk of having raw beef.

It’s a little greasy when cooked, but the type with less fat doesn’t have as much grease.

However, once you get the spam out of the can, it is more delicious when cooked in a pan, either by cooking it or chopping it before adding it to your egg-based omelet.

Is Eating Raw Spam Bad For You?

Each food item you consume impacts your lifestyle and health that are most likely to result in positive or negative consequences.

The effects of eating raw spam include:

1. It’s More Convenient and Shelf-stable

The greatest benefit of spam is that it’s more practical and has a longer shelf life, in contrast to other meat varieties.

If you are getting short on time it’s more practical to cook spam with a limited amount of ingredients.

Since spam is already cooked, you can eat it straight from the can, and it requires minimal preparation before eating.

Adding additives and preservatives makes it more convenient to store up more perishable meats, like chicken, beef, and fish.

Spam can be used by including it in sandwiches or sliders, pasta dishes, and even rice.

2. Health Risks Since It's Highly Processed

Consuming spam could be harmful to your health as it is classified as processed food.

The company can make meat through curing, canning smoking, drying, or curing to extend its shelf life while also improving the flavor and texture.

It is often paired with other meat products that are processed, such as scrapple, bacon, hotdogs, and salami.

Consuming this kind of meat can cause numerous ailments, including coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Furthermore, meat that has been processed tends to be linked with a greater risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.

Other diseases include chronic obstructive lung illness and elevated blood pressure.

3. Presence of Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite ingredient is a popular ingredient used as an ingredient in the manufacture of spam.

It inhibits the growth of bacteria and enhances the flavor as well as the appearance and taste of the final product.

Nitrosamine, a dangerous chemical, is linked to a variety of negative health effects when exposed to the amino acid and its nitrite’s extreme temperatures.

A high level of sodium nitrite and intake of nitrosamine increases the risk of stomach cancer tumors of the thyroid and tumors as well as type one diabetes.

4. Spam Contains High Levels of Sodium

Spam is a source of sodium and makes up one-third of the daily recommended intake per serving.

Different individuals react differently to sodium’s effects.

For instance, those who have high blood pressure will benefit from reducing their sodium intake as it can lower blood pressure.

The consumption of high salt can reduce the flow of blood in salt-sensitive people, resulting in constipation and swelling.

Stomach cancer may be linked to an increased intake of sodium.

5. Spam Contains a High Amount of Fat

Spam has high levels of fat, approximately 15 grams per 56 grams of food.

Fat has more calories than proteins or carbohydrates because each gram of fat has nine calories compared with other meat products like poultry, corned beef, and even fish.

It is possible to increase the number of calories you consume and lead to weight gain if you regularly take in high-fat meals like spam.

What Is The Nutritional Value of Spam?

Similar to other foods, spam is also loaded with large amounts of fat, sodium, and calories.

Additionally, it contains micronutrients, including potassium and zinc.

One serving of 56g is as follows:

  • Calories 174
  • Protein 7 grams
  • Carbohydrates 2g
  • 15 grams of fat
  • Sodium 32% of the RDI
  • Zinc 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium 4% of the RDI
  • Iron 35 of the RDI
  • Copper 3% of the RDI

Vitamin C, magnesium folate, calcium, and Vitamin C are also provided in small quantities through spam.

What Are The Different Types of Spam?

When you are walking through the grocery aisles lined with spam items, make sure to pick a flavor that is your favorite.

There are a variety of types of spam:

  1. Spam Classic – original flavor
  2. Spam hot and spicy tobacco-flavored
  3. Jalapeno Spam
  4. Spam mixed with Black Pepper
  5. Spam Low sodium 25 percent less sodium
  6. Spam Lite has 33% fewer calories and sodium, 25% less, and 50% less fat. It is derived from pork, ham, and chicken, that is mechanically separated
  7. Spam Oven Roasted Turkey
  8. Spam Hickory smoke
  9. Spam spread – It is like the classic spam but with a more virulent version.
  10. Spam Bacon, Spam Cheese, and many more

FAQs

Can Raw Spam Make You Sick?

Yes, eating raw Spam can make you sick. It’s important to cook the meat thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria.

Can You Eat Cold Spam?

Yes, you can eat cold Spam, but it’s recommended to cook it before consuming to prevent any possible health risks.

What Does Raw Spam Taste Like?

Raw Spam has a unique taste that some people might find unpleasant. It has a salty and slightly meaty flavor that can be overwhelming for some.

What Happens If You Eat A Whole Can of Spam?

Eating a whole can of Spam can be dangerous, as it’s high in sodium and fat. Consuming excessive amounts of Spam can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s important to eat it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Summary

Spam is a popular canned meat product that has been around for decades. While it is a convenient and tasty option for many, it is important to be aware of the potential negative health effects associated with its consumption.

Despite being a good source of nutrients such as sodium, fat, and protein, Spam has been linked to an increased risk of developing health issues like diabetes and heart disease.

It is ultimately up to individuals to make informed decisions about their dietary choices, but moderation and variety are key to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

With a range of flavors available, from Spam cheese to Spam bacon, there is no shortage of options for those who enjoy this iconic product.

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1 comment

Interesting article. There is one correction however, there is no such thing as “raw” SPAM, unless you’re consuming the product on the assembly line. All SPAM is fully cooked in the can when it arrives to your store shelves. In fact, that was what helped SPAM rise to popularity during World War II. It was a ready-to-eat, shelf-stable meat. Sure, SPAM is loaded with fat, nitrates, and lots of salt, but it’s interesting that the meat quality is rather good for what it is. Unlike other processed meat products that use various scraps and trim, SPAM uses only pork shoulder and ham.

David

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