A food safety friend went to a U.S. burger joint, and asked to have his burger cooked to 160F.
He replied, No, I’d like it cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.
Which color is equal to 160°F?
He didn’t know.
So, he settled for well done.
In frustration, my friend send this letter to HQ.
For a couple of decades the color of cooked ground beef has been known
to not be a reliable indicator of safety. (1-4, 6-8)
Temperature is. (5)
Do your cooks use a thermometer?
Can your correlate the cooked color to an internal temperature for
each batch of ground beef?
As a septuagenarian, my immune system is not as robust as it once was.
And, my great grandaughter’s immune system isn’t as robust as it will be.
Can you help?
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Doneness Affect Sensory, Chemical, and Physical Properties of Beef
Patties. J. Food Science. 59 (1): 10-14, 19.
- Cornforth, D.; C.R. Calkins, C. Faustman. 1991. Methods for
Identification and Prevention of Pink Color in Cooked Meat. Reciprocal
Meat Conference Proceedings, AMSA 44:53-58.
- Hague, M.A.; K.E. Warren; M.C. Hunt; D.H. Kropf; C.L. Kastner; S.L.
Stroda; and D.E. Johnson. 1994. Endpoint Temperature, Internal Cooked
Color, and Expressible Juice Color Relationships in Ground Beef
Patties. J. Food Sci. 59 (3): 465-470.
- Hunt, M.C.; K.E. Warren; M.A. Hague; D. H. Kropf; C.L. Waldner;
S.L. Stroda; and C.L. Kastner. 1995. Cooked Ground Beef Color is
Unreliable Indicator of Maximum Internal Temperature. Department of
Animal Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-0201.
Presentation to American Chemical Society April 6, 1995.
- Line,-J.E.; Fain,-A.R.-Jr.; Moran,-A.B.; Martin,-L.M.;
Lechowich,-R.V.; Carosella,-J.M.; Brown,-W.L.. 1991. Lethality of
heat to Escherichia coli 0157:H7: D-value and Z-value determinations
in ground beef. J-Food-Prot..54:762-766.
- Mendenhall, V.T. 1989. Effect of pH and Total Pigment Concentration
on the Internal Color of Cooked Ground Beef Patties. J. Food Sci. 54
- Trout, G.R. 1989. Variation in Myoglobin Denaturation and Color of
Cooked Beef, Pork, and Turkey Meat as Influenced by pH, Sodium
Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, and Cooking Temperature. J. Food
Sci. 54 (3): 536-544.
- USDA-ARS/FSIS. 1998. Premature Browning of Cooked Ground Beef. Food
Safety and Inspection Service Public Meeting on Premature Browning of
Ground Beef. May 27, 1998. USDA, Washington, D.C.