How to cook hamburger – more from France

A correspondent in France has provided a July 2, 2008, document published by the French Ministry of Agriculture regarding meat food safety.

From cooking ”a hamburger to the center” (page 21) to “well-cooked” (page 12), the document is short on specifics, and absolutely wrong when speaking to an audience I particularly care about these days – pregnant women.

“For sensitive consumers (pregnant women, children, the elderly…) eat any meat (beef, poultry, pork) “well done” (that is to say at 65°C = disappearance of pink color), and avoid the consumption of raw meat, of some cold cuts (charcuterie) or tripe product.” (p. 15)

The temperature – 65 C or 149 F – is too low for any ground meat or poultry, and simply does not equal the disappearance of pink.

Color is a lousy indicator of doneness. So is well-cooked, cooked to the center, and, as the Brits prefer, piping hot. Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer. And stick it in.

This entry was posted in Food Safety Policy, Thermometers and tagged , , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time