Cases of food poisoning tend to increase during the summer months with some research showing that the undercooking of raw meat like beef burgers and bacterial contamination of food are some of the reasons why.
Most people know about rare steak and some may opt for this option when eating out (i.e. medium rare or blue…). However, some people think that eating rare burgers are also fine to eat too…but that’s not the case at all. Steak and burgers are not the same.
Eating a burger that’s rare and pink inside can potentially lead to food poisoning, whereas eating rare steak should be OK for some people but not all!
The process of mincing and grinding can introduce potentially harmful bacteria like E.coli on the meat surface into the minced/ground meat.
Minced meat meat needs to reach at least 70°C internally for 2 mins, 75°C for 30 secs or 80°C for 6 secs before eating.
Steak can be served rare or not cooked in the middle) or blue (seared on the outside) if that’s an individual’s preference as long as they have been properly sealed by cooking them quickly at a high temperature on the outside only. Bacteria is usually only found on the outer surfaces of this types of meat.
Though steak can be served rare, there are some people who cannot tolerate it & would benefit from having it well-cooked and there are some people who should definitely avoid eating undercooked meats like pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune system.
According to the NHS, chicken, kebabs, offal, pork, rolled joints of meat & sausages SHOULD NOT be served rare. These should be cooked throughly and checked to make sure that there are pink meat and the juices are no longer pink or red.
As we are approaching warmer months (well…let’s be hopefully here in the UK) and people thinking about hosting barbecue parties, let’s be mindful of food safety and hygiene! Food poisoning is no joke at all.
Cook and serve your burgers well!
For more information on food safety and hygiene, check out the following links:
– NHS – How to prepare and cook food safely: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-prepare-and-cook-food-safely/
– Food Standards Agency (FSA) – Burgers: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/burgers