When I was growing up, a salmonella outbreak was a freak occurrence. Today you can hardly pick up the newspapers these days without reading about some sort of mass food contamination.
Ground meats seem to be particularly susceptible to contamination. In order to kill salmonella (or other bacteria), you need to cook hamburgers (and other meats) to an internal temperature of 160°F. That’s the temperature of medium-done meat.
Here are some other procedures that can help make hamburgers safer:
- Buy your meat at a top-notch butcher shop where the meat is ground daily. If possible, choose your meat before it’s ground and have the butcher grind it while you wait.
- Store the meat in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
- Wash any cutting board you’ve cut meat on with very hot water and plenty of soap immediately after each use.
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