News / Health

Health Risks Fail to Deter Ethiopians from Eating Raw Meat

Health Risks Fail to Deter Ethiopians from Eating Raw Meati
X
September 20, 2013 12:43 PM
Ethiopians continue to eat raw meat at family and festive occasions despite health risks that include exposure to tapeworms, salmonella and E-coli. Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from Addis Ababa on why the practice persists.

Raw Meat Still Popular in Ethiopia

Marthe van der Wolf
— Ethiopians continue to eat raw meat at family and festive occasions despite health risks that include exposure to tapeworms, salmonella and E-coli.

While most people are taught that eating raw meat is not good for you, the tradition persists in Ethiopia.  Whenever there is something to celebrate -- like a wedding, or the end of one of the many fasting weeks for the large Orthodox community -- raw meat is eaten in large quantities.
 
The story goes that eating raw meat started during times of war.  Fighters hiding in the mountains would have exposed themselves by making fire, and so ate their meat raw.
 
Temesgen Yilma is the owner of Yilma Restaurant, one of the most famous raw meat restaurants in Addis Ababa.  He eats raw meat almost every day and claims that neither he nor his customers have gotten sick from eating it.
 
“Today we are the only butchery in the country having our own animal transport trucks and meat transport vehicle," noted Yilma.  "And our meat is always inspected by the ministry of agriculture, it’s free of any tape worm or any other thing.  It’s always inspected and its always healthy.”

The meat is delivered late at night or early in the morning to one of the hundreds of raw meat establishments in the city.  The delivery time is important, to ensure the freshness of the meat and thus to prevent customers from falling ill.
 
But despite these precautions, eating raw meat still poses the risk of several types of infections.  Akaze Teame is the medical director at the American Medical Center.  He said that eating raw meat is not recommended.

“You will also be at risk of non-communicable diseases such as stroke and heart disease because as you’ve witnessed, most people when they consume raw meat they actually like it white, with a lot of fat on it," Teame explained. "So that puts the person at a much increased risk for heart disease and stroke as well.”

Whatever the health risks, for many Ethiopians raw meat remains one of the most popular dishes.  And to prevent tapeworms, the most common and well-known consequence of eating raw meat, any meat lover can just walk to the pharmacy and buy pills without a prescription.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rawraw from: Cali
September 23, 2013 1:50 AM
Disgusting. Someone needs to tell them to stop eating this stuff. Gross.


by: Wond from: CA
September 21, 2013 10:56 AM
I am sure if you had followed the physician after work by the end of the day, you would have found him at Yilma's restaurant. I can't wait to get back to Ethiopia and taste what makes me drool watching the clip:)

In Response

by: Rebecca from: Addis Ababa
September 29, 2013 10:31 AM
i have been eating raw meat for some years now and no health risk at all. Their meat is healthy and fresh at anytime. you won't find such service or product anywhere but at Yilma's.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid