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Ground Beef Fact Sheet

Ground Beef Fact Sheet

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Published by earthandlife
Outbreaks of food-borne illness caused by ground beef have made headlines in the past few years—but it’s likely that many of these illnesses could be avoided by using safe food handling practices. This fact sheet explains the dangers of ground beef and outlines how to make sure it is safe to eat.
Outbreaks of food-borne illness caused by ground beef have made headlines in the past few years—but it’s likely that many of these illnesses could be avoided by using safe food handling practices. This fact sheet explains the dangers of ground beef and outlines how to make sure it is safe to eat.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: earthandlife on Mar 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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12/01/2011

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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 grnd bf mr dangr hanhr ma?
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 frzing grnd bf ki h bacria?
No. Freezing can kill some bacteria, but others can survive bothrefrigerator and freezer temperatures.
Hw can y b r ha grnd bf 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
O157:H7, and
Salmonella
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 bacria ar fnd in grnd bf?
E. coli
are commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-bloodedorganisms.
E. coli
O157:H7 is a particularly harmful strain that produces largequantities of a potent toxin that can damage the intestine.
Salmonella
are found in the intestinal tracts of animals and in theenvironment. Ingesting food contaminated with
Salmonella
can causefood-borne illness.
Ab 48 miin pp(1 in 6 Amrican) g ick,128,000 ar hpiaizd,and 3,000 di ach yarfrm fdbrn dia,accrding  imafrm h Cnr frDia Cnr andPrvnin.I’ iky ha many fh in cd bavidd by ing af fdhanding pracic.
NAtIoNAl ReseARCH CouNCIl

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