How long until chefs catch up? Turn steaks every two minutes for safety

Keeping with the internalization theme, do beef steaks that are needle or blade tenderized need to be cooked to a higher temperature to ensure food safety? Or can other procedures like regular turning ensure safety. (I’ve done this for a long time because it led to a better product, but chefs are stuck with the one-turn principle.)

Colin Gill and colleagues write:

Beef steaks (2 cm thick) were each inoculated at three sites in the central plane with Escherichia coli O157:H7 at 5.9 ± 0.3 log CFU per site. Temperatures at steak centers were monitored during cooking on a hot plate or the grill of a gas barbeque. Steaks were cooked in hank.hill.bbqgroups of five using the same procedures and cooking each steak to the same temperature, and surviving E. coli O157:H7 at each site was enumerated. When steaks cooked on the hot plate were turned over every 2 or 4 min during cooking to between 56 and 62°C, no E. coli O157:H7 was recovered from steaks cooked to ≥58 or 62°C, respectively. When steaks were cooked to ≤71°C and turned over once during cooking, E. coli O157:H7 was recovered from steaks in groups turned over after ≤8 min but not from steaks turned over after 10 or 12 min.

E. coli O157:H7 was recovered in similar numbers from steaks that were not held or were held for 3 min after cooking when steaks were turned over once after 4 or 6 min during cooking. When steaks were cooked on the grill with the barbeque lid open and turned over every 2 or 4 min during cooking to 63 or 56°C, E. coli O157:H7 was recovered from only those steaks turned over at 4-min intervals and cooked to 56°C. E. coli O157:H7 was recovered from some steaks turned over once during cooking on the grill and held or not held after cooking to 63°C. E. coli O157:H7 was not recovered from steaks turned over after 4 min during cooking to 60°C on the grill with the barbeque lid closed or when the lid was closed after 6 min.

Apparently, the microbiological safety of mechanically tenderized steaks can be assured by turning steaks over at intervals of about 2 200297777-001min during cooking to ≥60°C in an open skillet or on a barbecue grill. When steaks are turned over only once during cooking to ≥60°C, microbiological safety may be assured by covering the skillet or grill with a lid during at least the final minutes of cooking.

 

Effects of selected cooking procedures on the survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in inoculated steaks cooked on a hot plate or gas barbecue grill

Journal of Food Protection, Number 6, June 2014, pp. 872-1042, pp. 919-926(8)

Gill, C. O., Devos, J., Youssef, M. K., Yang, X.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2014/00000077/00000006/art00007