Tags: hamburger | cook | ground beef | bacteria

Why You Should Never Eat a Hamburger Cooked This Way

By    |   Monday, 24 Aug 2015 02:34 PM


Your next hamburger may put you in danger of becoming ill. A recent study by Consumer Reports found that ground beef can make you sick, especially if it's cooked to temperatures under 160 degrees — rare or medium rare.

Although all meat can contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning if not properly cooked, ground beef is especially risky. The bacteria E-coli is a common contaminant, and it can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and even kidney damage.

Consumer Reports bought 300 packages (a total of 458 pounds) of ground beef from 26 stores around the United States. They analyzed samples for five bacteria commonly found on beef — clostridium perfringens, E. coli, enterococcus, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus.

All 458 pounds of beef had fecal contamination, and almost 20 percent contained C. perfringens, a bacteria that causes almost 1 million cases of food poisoning every year. Ten percent of the samples had a type of staphylococcus aureus that can produce a toxin that isn't destroyed by cooking. Only 1 percent contained salmonella, but that can add up to the potential of millions getting sick.

"There's no way to tell by looking at a package of meat or smelling it whether it has harmful bacteria or not," Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Food Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports, told yahoo.com. "You have to be on guard every time."

How do you stay safe and also buy the best ground beef possible? For safety, make sure that anything that touches the ground beef is clean, from your hands to your countertop, and cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 degrees.

Buying the best possible quality of ground beef is also a key to keeping safe. Generally, the study found that animals grown without antibiotics and were grass-fed were less likely to harbor bacteria likely to make you sick.

To make sure you're buying the best ground beef possible, keep the following tips from Consumer Reports in mind when shopping:

1. No antibiotics. Look for the terms "no antibiotics administered" and "raised without antibiotics." The most reliable term is "USDA Processed Verified."

2. Grass-fed. A USDA label "grass-fed" or "100 percent grass-fed" means the cows were never fed grain, and had access to pasture. The USDA "Never Ever 3" label guarantees beef that has never been fed grain, antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones. Organic beef is even better, says Consumer Reports, because it also guarantees the animal wasn't fed any feed grown with pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Best of all is grass-fed organic beef.



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Your next hamburger may put you in danger of becoming ill. A recent study by Consumer Reports found that ground beef can make you sick, especially if it's cooked to temperatures under 160 degrees - rare or medium rare. Although all meat can contain bacteria that can cause...
hamburger, cook, ground beef, bacteria
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2015-34-24
Monday, 24 Aug 2015 02:34 PM
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