The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reminding people that unlike steaks, burgers can cause severe illness if not cooked thoroughly during Bank Holiday barbecues.
Burgers and steaks are two of the most common items to put on the barbecue and although both are often made of beef, each requires a very different approach to cooking, something that is often overlooked.
Councillor Alan Bottwood of Northampton Borough Council, which has responsibility for food hygiene, said: “Many people believe that like steaks, burgers can be served with a pink centre, but this is simply not the case.
“Steaks can be served rare because any external contamination is destroyed when the steak is sealed; whereas the minced meat of burgers combines meat from the outside and the inside, along with any contaminants.
The council advised that burgers need to be cooked until they are piping hot throughout, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat remaining.
Councillor Bottwood said: “Otherwise you run a high risk of contracting an illness that could ruin your barbecue and the rest of your bank holiday weekend.”
For more facts and advice on food safety including safe barbecuing, preparing food and handling raw meat, see the FSA’s website - www.food.gov.uk.