Posted by Chris Raines on 08/23 at 11:55 AM
The first rule of food safety is “keep it clean.” In a close second to that basic food safety tenet is “keep it cold.”
The principles of safe food handling haven’t changed much from the basics my great-grandmother taught my mother. Those tips that were passed down from a 1900 southern Missouri homestead came from a simpler time, before the modern efficiencies of modern agriculture (and their unfortunate associated skepticism) were known.
Today we find advertisements of supposed (yet untrue) safety benefits associated with meat production and handling, which leads me to share the following points:
(1) Whether it’s grass-fed, corn-fed, raised in a pasture, or raised in a feedlot, the same safe food handling practices should always be observed. There is no animal raising model that results in a food safety guarantee. Granny’s cows were raised befitting to some of the new production claims, yet she knew “bad things” could still be lurking—she just didn’t know what to call them. Pathogenic E. coli can be found in beef raised every which-way, and Salmonellae can be found in poultry and eggs with any given background. Pathogens know no “food-mile” bounds.
(2) Minimize opportunities for cross-contamination in your home. Handle raw foods and cooked foods separately. For example, always wash the platter before placing cooked burgers back onto it. That is a prime opportunity for cross-contamination.
(3) You may prefer a medium-rare burger, but it should still reach a temperature of at least 160°F—regardless of how or where it was raised. Also, always use a meat thermometer. Why? Because you cannot rely on color alone to assess the doneness of a burger. In fact, up to 25% of all burgers may look “done” before they reach a safe temperature. Also, burgers can stay pink well above 160°F. So use a thermometer to ensure the burger is done while averting patty incineration.
(4) Grinding beef in your own kitchen may not necessarily result in a “safer” burger. There are many reasons for this, including (a) whole-muscle cuts, like the roasts you’re grinding, have been implicated in recalls before, and (b) chances are your kitchen is not cleaner than the facility in which it was burger is commercially ground.
Do you have food safety tips to share?
Author: Chris Raines
Bio: Chris Raines is the state meats extension specialist for Pennsylvania and assistant professor at Penn State.
Most recent entries
- Ring in the New Year with Katie Herzig’s Latest Album, “The Waking Sleep”
- 2013 Will Be Ellie Goulding’s Year
- Penn State’s Movin’ On music festival announces MGMT as the Headliner
- Asher Roth and The White Panda Bring The Party at Alumni Hall Last Friday
- Album Review: Nicki Minaj’s Revamped Album - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up
- Asher Roth and The White Panda are Bringing the Party to Penn State TONIGHT (12/7)
- ‘Tis The Season! Some Songs to Put You in the Holiday Spirit
- The Party Girl Is Back: Ke$ha’s Latest Single, “Die Young”
- Album Review: Delilah’s Debut Album “From The Roots Up”
- More Music to Discover Over the Holiday: Flight Facilities
- Album Review: Matt & Kim Release Thunderous New Album, “Lightning”
- Marina and the Diamonds’ Latest Single Gives a Guide To Breaking Hearts
- The UK’s Latest and Greatest: Emeli Sandé
- Springsteen and his E Street Band Rocked The BJC
- A Slice of Jamaica: The Toots and the Maytals at The State Theatre, 11/5/12 - A Review
- Stephen Smith
- Alexandra Voigt
- Chelsea Sweithelm
- Nathan Etter
- Charlee Redman
- Natalie Plumb
- John Hendrickson
- Michael Giannelli
- Carly Mallenbaum
- Ryan Chase
- Pat Baxter
- Marcus Correll
- Aaron Wynne
- Mike Hobson
- Samantha Hatfield
- Brian McFarland
- Lindsay Carolla
- Johnny Chadwick
- Devin Weakland
- Ryan Kappy
- Stephanie Williams
- Christopher Will
- David Porter Callanan
- Matt D'Ippolito
- Karen Marchuska
- Rachel Garman
- Brittany Barth
- Mike Moynahan