This is a medium rare burger

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.BMA98tjCMAEfqwF

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.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.