Last week I was in Lincoln, Nebraska along with a bunch of other food safety nerds talking about Shigatoxin producing E. coli (STECs) and beef. The group got together as part of a large project to look at non-O157 STECs and involves lots of academic, regulatory and industry folks.
One of our parts of the project, lead by PhD student Ellen Thomas, is to investigate the type of info a restaurant patron receives when ordering a medium rare burger – and whether restaurant servers a good risk communicators. Today Ellen and a summer intern James Su ordered a medium rare burger from a local establishment (right, exactly as shown) and were told that the medium rare burgers are safe to eat, but rare wouldn’t be. And that the cook could tell whether it had reached a safe temperature by touching it.