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Eating burgers that are red in the middle: safe?


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Old 07-09-2009, 22:30
SegaGod
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Might sound like a silly question, but i just cooked myself some burgers, but they are a little red in the middle. Im not putting my health at risk am i by eating them?
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Old 07-09-2009, 22:43
Spiderpig
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As long as the meat was fresh when cooked there is no problem. Some people have them cooked like that (rare). In America the waiter will ask you how you want it cooking. I don't to eat them like that or in any condition as I am a vegitarian.
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Old 07-09-2009, 23:57
indianwells
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Opinion is split, but i've been cooking my burgers medium for 30 years, and i'm still very much here!
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Old 08-09-2009, 00:03
BigBHM
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Exactly as Spiderpig said, the meat must be very fresh - beef only of course (just to be sure you don't do the same with pork or chicken burgers).
Consensus is indeed split because with beef, the bacteria cannot penetrate the outer layer, unlike pork and chicken - so usually a steak(fresh) is fine to eat rare because the outside of the meat has been 'cooked' while the middle does not really need to be - but if you make a burger from mince-meat it is less safe IMHO, because the meat in the middle has been exposed to the air and pathogens but has not been 'seared'.
If the meat was freash enough then even if you do get a tummy ache it should not be too bad - not like salmonella from chicken for instance.
A little bit of pink should be fine.
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:05
degsyhufc
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Just to add to the above. I will cook frozen or even fresh supermarket/butcher burgers through but if I make them myself from mince from a good source then I don't mind them a little pink. It's still a slight gamble but that's why you got to a local butcher, because of the quality of meat. I think meduim rare maybe a bit too far for a burger as I find it falls apart but I guess it depends on the breed, cut of meat and how much you are paying.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:08
TommyGavin76
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I've had rare burgers in lots of places, including the U.S. where they were very rare and never been ill.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:30
Erlang
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The risk comes from e coli or the "burger bug" as it is sometimes known.

e coli is ever present in the environment but does not withstand direct high temperatures (cooking) so a piece of steak is safe to eat because the e coli is only on the outside and even cooking it rare will kill the e coli.

A peice of beef with e coli on the outside which is then minced will have e coli inside the burger and eating it rare will mean that there is a high risk of e coli surviving internally and that of course could lead to infection.

Some e coli strains are severe and deaths have occured.

Google e coli
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:51
Melanie858
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I wouldn't eat mince/burgers undercooked. Just from what I've learned in food tech when I was at school and doing basic food hygeine courses. Although you will probably be perfectly fine, if the rare chance you did catch e-coli the consequences can be severe. We watched a film in food tech about a bloke who caught it from undercooked mince when he made a spaghetti bologonese at home and he died. That was enough to put me off! So you may well be able to go for years eating rare burgers and be fine, but that doesn't mean you will always be fine..
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:34
onefineday
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Watch out for 'measly beef' or you might be growing yourself an intestinal friend.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:10
marisa8481
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As long as it's fresh and also good quality, you should be fine!
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:00
TommyGavin76
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The risk comes from e coli or the "burger bug" as it is sometimes known.

e coli is ever present in the environment but does not withstand direct high temperatures (cooking) so a piece of steak is safe to eat because the e coli is only on the outside and even cooking it rare will kill the e coli.

A peice of beef with e coli on the outside which is then minced will have e coli inside the burger and eating it rare will mean that there is a high risk of e coli surviving internally and that of course could lead to infection.

Some e coli strains are severe and deaths have occured.

Google e coli
Have I just been lucky then? Why are places allowed to serve it rare if it's so dangerous?

Also how does that explain Steak Tartare?
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:30
Melanie858
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As long as it's fresh and also good quality, you should be fine!
The thing is, E Coli comes from the faeces of the cow. You can never really be 100% sure there won't be E Coli even on a fresh, good quality piece of beef. Beef can become contaminated with faeces during the slaughter process.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:41
Melanie858
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Have I just been lucky then? Why are places allowed to serve it rare if it's so dangerous?

Also how does that explain Steak Tartare?
I have heard of places asking people to sign a contract to waiver the restaurants responsibility if they are ill after eating a burger served rare.

Click Here!!
The British chain All Bar One was among the operators that reportedly were asking diners to sign waivers. A waiter at an All Bar One branch explained that its practice was not really to make red-meat lovers sign a contract, but rather to require them to jot down a note on their check, simply stating that the restaurant was not responsible for illnesses caused by medium-rare orders. Rare burgers, the waiter explained, were not served under any conditions.



I don't know how anyone can eat Steak Tartare, to be honest!!

Here Rare Burgers are listed here as number 3 in the ten most hazzardous foods:

http://health.msn.com/nutrition/slid...9&imageindex=3

1)Alfalfa sprouts
2)Eggs
3) Rare Burgers
4)Packaged Greens
5) Sushi
6) Chicken
7)Mayonnaise
8)Cantaloupe melon
9) Unpasteurized Cheese
10) Salad Bars

^Even I'm quite surprised about a few of those.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:43
TommyGavin76
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I have heard of places asking people to sign a contract to waiver the restaurants responsibility if they are ill after eating a burger served rare. However, I have been in restaurants in New York though, where they cook the burger medium rare unless you ask for it well done, which is horrible!
I don't know how anyone can eat Steak Tartare, to be honest!!

Here Rare Burgers are listed here as number 3 in the ten most hazzardous foods:

http://health.msn.com/nutrition/slid...9&imageindex=3

1)Alfalfa sprouts
2)Eggs
3) Rare Burgers
4)Packaged Greens
5) Sushi
6) Chicken
7)Mayonnaise
8)Cantaloupe melon
9) Unpasteurized Cheese
10) Salad Bars

^Even I'm quite surprised about a few of those.
I've eaten Steak Tartare quite a few times, i've also eaten rare burgers in the U.S. on at least a dozen occasions.

Never once been remotely ill and I suspect the fact they are prepared to serve them means they don't think the risk is very high either.
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Old 08-09-2009, 15:52
rita_de_orac
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I've eaten Steak Tartare quite a few times, i've also eaten rare burgers in the U.S. on at least a dozen occasions.

Never once been remotely ill and I suspect the fact they are prepared to serve them means they don't think the risk is very high either.
I tried steak tartare once and was sick afterwards, but I think that was mostly out of squeamishness
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Old 08-09-2009, 17:32
Erlang
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Have I just been lucky then? Why are places allowed to serve it rare if it's so dangerous?

Also how does that explain Steak Tartare?
I wasn't establishing the risk, just that the risk exists, I eat slivers of raw beef from time to time during cooking, but I am aware of the risk,
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Old 08-09-2009, 17:37
TommyGavin76
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I wasn't establishing the risk, just that the risk exists, I eat slivers of raw beef from time to time during cooking, but I am aware of the risk,
I wasn't being awkward, just wondering what sort of level of risk we are talking about.

I'm guessing it's extremely low.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:32
Swarfega
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Whilst I haven't had steak tartare (would like to try it though - I don't frequent the places that serve it), I have had carpaccio of beef.
Basically very, very thin slices of effectively raw steak with a dressing. I hugely enjoyed it.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:42
BigBHM
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Steak Tartare should only ever be served using the FRESHEST cuts of beef, preferably from a top butchers or farm shop, and in fact the dressing goes SOME way to 'curing' the beef anyway as the acidity in the dressing will kill many of the bacteria that may be present.

Having worked for 15 years in the food industry I will say this much...
I am PARANOID about food safety and NEVER take risks in my own home, and I avoid eating out or takeaways or even ready meals as much as I possibly can.
i want to know what is in my food, how it was prepared, stored and where it came from as much as possible.
I have learnt and seen way too much to be nonchalant about food.

Saying that, some people's stomachs are simply better at handling 'bad' foods than others - mine is a particularly useless stomach in that regard, but I have known people who can eat just about anything and be fine afterwards (especially French people - that is the voice of experience people LOL).
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:36
doughnut8
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Yuck!!! rare means its like bloody flesh right? ewwwwwwwwwwwww nasty. need to go chuck up.
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Old 10-09-2009, 16:58
TommyGavin76
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Yuck!!! rare means its like bloody flesh right? ewwwwwwwwwwwww nasty. need to go chuck up.
Yes, just like a rare steak. The best way to eat beef.
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Old 11-09-2009, 19:25
summer_redux
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I had a bad case of food poisoning in 1988, so if any meat that I cook is red in the middle, I either cook it longer or I don't eat it all.
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