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Are you attending a holiday BBQ today or prepping burgers for your family and friends? Make sure you know the facts and follow these safe burger and meat cooking tips.
Did you know that seeing isn’t always believing and a burger that is brown doesn’t always mean it is done?Color of beef can change based on fat blend and its pH levels. Many people assume that if a hamburger is brown in the middle it is safe to eat and fully done however, according to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature.
Looking at the color and texture of food is not enough— you have to use a meat thermometer to be sure. Food thermometers can be purchased in just about any store, including your local grocery stores, for less than $10. To check the temperature of burgers and meat you should follow these safe burger and meat cooking tips:
- Purchase a meat thermometer
- Check the temperature of the meat towards the end of the cooking process. Do not leave the meat thermometer in your burger or meat while it cooks.
- Make sure to insert the thermometer probe is in the center of the burger for at least 15 seconds.
- When a hamburger is cooked to 160 F, it is both safe and delicious.
Meat and poultry should be cooked to a safe temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. E. coli, a dangerous bacteria strain, can be killed by cooking meat to 160 F which is considered medium-well done.
Color of meat and poultry is not a good indicator of safety. Safe cooking temperatures, checked by using a food thermometer to make sure meats have reached a safe minimum internal temperature, can be checked by reviewing this handy chart.
Keep your family and friends safe this 4th of July and make sure you know how to serve the safest burgers and meats at your barbecues and family gatherings. For more information on meat temperatures and food safety check out the “Is It Done Yet?” brochure prepared by the USDA.
Happy 4th of July!
“This post was made possible through the support of USDA and Element Associates. All opinions are my own.”
This article was written by food blogger Linda Arceo and Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps