I’ll take my hamburger at 160F, verified with a thermometer

Food safety has never been Mark Bittman’s strong point. But food porn triumphs, so who cares if a few people barf.

In the on-going saga of demonstrating that most so-called chefs are food safety morons, Bittman, a columnist with the N.Y. Times who apparently has a new book out, blogged about his experience ordering a burger in Toronto (that’s in Canada) the other night night, where he said to the staff,

“I begged the waitress for a really rare burger and she said, “When you ask for rare they make it medium rare,” and I said, "I know, that’s how it often is, and though I’d prefer it rare I don’t mind it medium rare, but if it’s medium I’m going to be unhappy," and she said, "Then you’ll be very happy." And it came out well done. And I wasn’t unhappy at all, I just didn’t eat much of it. I ate fries and roasted beets."

Bittman has also said in the past that "if you grind your own beef, you can make a mixture and taste it raw," adding that, "To reassure the queasy, there’s little difference, safety-wise, between raw beef and rare beef: salmonella is killed at 160 degrees, and rare beef is cooked to 125 degrees."

This is food safety idiocracy. Any food safety advice in Bittman’s book should be disregarded as fantasy.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, 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, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time