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Food Safety

Preparing Ground Beef For Safe Consumption
USDA Meat and Poultry  Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit

Although recalled ground beef products  should be returned to the point of purchase, consumers preparing other ground  beef products should heed the following advice:
Consumers should only eat ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe  temperature of 160 °F. When a ground beef patty is cooked to 160 °F throughout,  it can besafe and juicy, regardless of color.
The only way to be sure a ground beef patty is cooked to a high enough  temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate food thermometer.
Color is not a reliable indicator that ground beef patties have been cooked to  a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
Eating a pink or red ground beef patty without first verifying that the safe  temperature of 160 °F has been reached is a significant risk factor for  foodborne illness.
Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking temperature is especially important  for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to people most at risk for  foodborne illness because E.  coli O157:H7 can lead to serious illness or even death. Those most  at risk include young children, seniors, and those with compromised immune  systems.

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