A good barbecue starts off as a safe barbecue, says
Food Poisoning Lawyer Tony Coveny with Ron Simon & Associate
s. Summertime is the smell of burning charcoal and searing meat. The aroma of barbecue wafts throughout neighborhoods. As you plan your next grill-out with your friends and family, make sure you have all the necessary tools for a great meal, including essential food safety supplies like a meat thermometer.
The heat from the grill kills bacteria, but you want to make sure to destroy all of the potential
foodborne illness-causing pathogens
. To do this, you can’t merely look at the color of the burger to determine if it’s safe to eat. If the inside is pink, that is a dead giveaway the internal temperature has yet to reach 160 degrees, so you need to continue grilling your burgurs. If the inside is brown, this does not necessarily mean the burger has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the internal temperature, pull the burger aside and use a meat thermometer to read the internal temperature of the burger. Allowing burgers to “rest” for three minutes will give the internal heat more time to destroy remaining bacteria inside the burger.
Ground beef is especially dangerous when it comes to food safety because of its surface area. Because ground beef has large contact surface area, any contamination from bacteria results in those pathogens being able to spread and grow throughout the ground beef.
Consuming undercooked meat increases your likelihood of becoming ill from a foodborne pathogen. According to the CDC, raw meats may contain Salmonella, E. coli, Yersinia, and other bacteria (CDC). Ingesting contaminated meats may result in an infection with symptoms ranging from vomiting and fever to blooding bowel movements. In some instances, severe infections from E. coli may cause kidney failure and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Here’s a link with some cooking guidelines from meats: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html