Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Cooked-to-Brown Burgers May Not Tell the Truth

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Cooked-to-Brown Burgers May Not Tell the Truth

Article excerpt

People who cook ground-beef burgers on gas grills could have a food safety problem if they rely on color--rather than on a meat thermometer--to determine if the meat is adequately cooked, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. The way the meat is handled before being cooked can make it look as if it has been cooked adequately even if it hasn't been. The purpose of the ARS research is to provide information that will enable the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service to suggest guidelines for safe food temperatures.

The ARS scientists, Bradford Berry and Marnie Bigner-George, cooked ground-beef patties on a gas grill and used a thermometer to determine when the burgers had reached temperatures of 135[degrees]F, 151[degrees]F, and 160[degrees]F. They also cooked burgers without using a thermometer, until the meat color turned brown. The ground beef had been purchased from a supermarket. Some of it was shaped into patties and cooked immediately; some was shaped into patties and frozen; and some was frozen in its bulk form. …

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