An amuse bouche of undercooked minced beef

This evening I’m giving a talk to a Google hangout of food safety professionals on the risks of eating undercooked beef burgers. And that’s on a day when we learn that Highland Game in Dundee have been implicated in an outbreak of E. coli O157 associated with venison products which may have been undercooked by consumers.

With good timing, Megan Rex, who blogs at gottobegourmet.com, today posted a review of a burger she ate at Honest Burgers restaurant in Tooting, south London. As you can see from the photo on her blog, it was served rare.

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I thought it would be interesting to get her views on eating raw minced beef and whether the restaurant provided any information to consumers on the risks, so I’ve left a comment on her post. She’s replied, just as I write this, and says:

Thanks for your comment Patrick. I actually did mention that I’d heard it wasn’t the best to eat burgers very rare but only briefly as I didn’t think it was the right kind of post for it. It’s an interesting point and I’ll look forward to reading your post on it. I think from my perspective as an average joe consumer, I’m prepared to take the risk as I like the flavour and texture. I’m probably an idiot for saying/thinking that, but you could ask the same of why people smoke or drink alcohol. I’m sure that Honest Burgers wouldn’t be putting people at risk as they’re a well established company so you would need to speak to them to get their take on it.

I had a wee look on Honest Burgers website, to see whether they provided any information about the risks of eating undercooked food along with their menu, and they don’t. However, their menu does include this statement:

honest_burgers_menu_statementThey also have a kids menu, but don’t say anything about whether children are served undercooked burgers or not. I’d be very worried if that was the case. I’ve emailed them to see what their views are as restaurateurs on the subject, so I’ll add anything I get from them.

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