A rising trend of consumers is the desire to purchase a lightly cooked burger. The perception is that a burger can be cooked and consumed in a similar way to a steak, but this is not the case.

Harmful bacteria can be carried on the surface of whole cuts of meat. When a rare steak is seared, these bacteria are killed, making the steak safe to eat.

When meat is minced to produce burgers, any harmful bacteria from the surface of the raw meat spread throughout the burger. Unless the burger is cooked right through, these bacteria can remain alive on the inside.

Strict controls are in place to reduce the risks at some restaurants who seek Local Authority approval. General guidance is to always ensure burgers are thoroughly cooked to the centre with juices running clear.  

See the Food Standards Agency advice regarding preparing burgers at home and when eating burgers in restaurants.

General Consumer Advice

Always check labels attached to food products and follow manufacturers instructions. Before ordering from a café, restaurant or takeaway, ensure sufficient enquiries are made about the dish and its suitability for your consumption. Always follow government guidance on foods that have an implication of greater risk. Follow specific advice if certain foods are intended for certain risk groups or individuals. Consumption and sourcing of food for/by the young, the elderly, mums to be, those who are immuno-compromised or suffering certain illnesses should always be with care.   

Finally, always check the food hygiene rating of a business before ordering. The National Food Hygiene Ratings are available to assist you in making an informed choice.

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