Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Safety: E.coli and ground beef

Food Safety: How-to Prepare Ground Beef For Safe Consumption

E.coli seems to run rampart. An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure or so the cliche goes. Here are some tips to minimize your risk.

–Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry.

–Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.

–Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

–Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160°F.

–Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.

–The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

–Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90°F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

For questions contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit www.fsis.usda.gov

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