From burgers to burritos, ground beef is astaple served up everywhere from fast foodrestaurants to school cafeterias to homesaround the country. But with outbreaks offoodborne illness caused by ground beefmaking headlines in the past few years— and with some states banning restaurants fromserving rare hamburgers—many consumers arequestioning the safety of the meat. What arethe dangers of ground beef, and how can youknow it is safe to eat?
I grnd bf mr dangr hanhr ma?
Bacteria are everywhere in our environmentand may be present on food products atpurchase—for example, the surface of cuts ofmeat like chicken breasts, roasts or steaks often contain bacteriafrom the animals they came from, the processing equipment, or fromthe environment. Some of these bacteria are harmful and can causeillness when consumed, but bacteria on the surface of foods can beeasily killed during cooking. However, when beef is ground, bacteriafrom its surface are mixed throughout the meat as it is chopped intotiny pieces. That means ground beef—and all other ground meats, likeground chicken, turkey, pork or lamb, which are processed the sameway—must be cooked all the way through in order to kill the bacteria.
Wi frzing grnd bf ki h bacria?
No. Freezing can kill some bacteria, but others can survive bothrefrigerator and freezer temperatures.
Hw can y b r ha grnd bf i af a?
Harmful bacteria may or may not be present in ground meat products— there is no way of knowing for sure. Proper cooking is the only reliablemethod of ensuring that ground meats are safe to eat. According to theU. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service,ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least160ºF to kill bacteria. Thorough cooking is especially important if thefood is going to be served to children, the elderly, or other people whomay be more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.
How to Make Sure the Ground Beef You Serve Is Safe
E. coli, E. coli
are illness-causing bacteria that can be found in groundbeef. To keep bacteria levels low,refrigerate meat at temperaturesbelow 40ºF or freeze it.
Wha yp f bacria ar fnd in grnd bf?
are commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-bloodedorganisms.
O157:H7 is a particularly harmful strain that produces largequantities of a potent toxin that can damage the intestine.
are found in the intestinal tracts of animals and in theenvironment. Ingesting food contaminated with
can causefood-borne illness.
Ab 48 miin pp(1 in 6 Amrican) g ick,128,000 ar hpiaizd,and 3,000 di ach yarfrm fdbrn dia,accrding imafrm h Cnr frDia Cnr andPrvnin.I’ iky ha many fh in cd bavidd by ing af fdhanding pracic.
NAtIoNAl ReseARCH CouNCIl