Does Touching Raw Meat Freak You Out?

Twenty-seven percent of people are squeamish about touching raw meat. (Photo: nadianb/Shutterstock)

The U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s has a new type of packaging for raw meat, one that allows home cooks to never touch it until it's cooked. The British paper The Times says consumers under the age of 35, that powerful purchasing generation known as millennials, do not like to touch any meat that's raw so they've created special doypacks to make cooking meat more appealing.

Doypacks are packages that can stand upright on their own. They often have a rip-off top with a zipper to reseal them for solids or a spout at the top for liquids. Viking Maseck says they're frequently used for nuts and snacks, liquids and pet foods. They're popular packaging options because they are lightweight, don't break, and take up little room.

The Times goes so far as to call consumers who are raw-meat adverse "snowflakes" — a term I think any rational person should banish from their lexicon unless talking about precipitation.

To be fair, it's not just millennials who get grossed out by touching uncooked chicken, beef and other animal flesh. Market research found that 27 percent of the population does not like to touch raw meat, but that number jumps to 37 percent with millennials.

Doypack packaging will allow consumers to dump raw chicken pieces straight from the package into the pan. (Photo: david bonaldo/Shutterstock)

With the sales of meat falling for many reasons, Sainsbury's is offering doypack packaging for those who might buy raw meat if they never need to actually touch it. They're starting with chicken pieces in doypacks so consumers can dump the chicken right into the pan when they're cooking.

The benefits of catering to the squeamish

raw chicken, pan
Would more people cook at home if they could dump their raw meat directly into the pan?. (Photo: Evgeny Tomeev/Shutterstock)

I like the idea of the packaging and here's why. If you're going to eat meat, often the most inexpensive way to do it is to cook it at home. If this rip-and-dump packaging gets people to cook up a chicken stir fry full of fresh, healthy vegetables at home instead of ordering out for something unhealthy, it's a good thing. Maybe, those who don't cook because they don't want to handle raw meat will become more confident in their skills and cook more often. Maybe, at some point, they'll even decide to touch some raw meat because they've learned to enjoy cooking.

And, if this packaging keeps cutting boards and countertops from getting contaminated with raw chicken juices that may contain campylobacter, a bacteria that causes serious food poisoning, it's a good thing.

Creating packaging that's convenient for a certain population is nothing new. Heinz created special ketchup packages that were less messy for French fry dipping in minivans. There's yogurt in drinkable pouches so it can be consumed on the go. And 100-calorie packages of nuts and other snacks were created for anyone who wants to count calories without actually counting. So now there's rip and dump raw meat. It's all about convenience, which is what so many people are looking for when it comes to eating and cooking these days.