Food and Nutrition
Grilling Steaks Versus Burgers (VIDEO)
Jun 22, 2017 - 11:30:16 AM
Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video package (1:00) is available in the download. Read the script.
You may be surprised to know that what’s good for the steak is not good for the burger. Dr. Rajapakse says, "There are important differences between steaks and hamburger.” She says your burger needs to be cooked to well-done. That’s to at least 160 degrees [Farenheit].
"Hamburger, obviously, is made up of ground meat, and so any bacteria that was present on the surface of the cut of meat before it was ground can be introduced into the center of the hamburger patty."
But she says it’s different with steak. "If a steak is contaminated with a bacteria, it would usually be on the surface of the steak, so heating the surface of the steak to a high temperature is usually enough to kill off any bacteria that may be there."
Dr. Rajapakse says the bacteria of greatest concern—Escherichia coli, or E. coli—can cause foodborne illness, resulting in abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. And some types of E. coli can even lead to kidney failure or death.
"That’s why we say it’s relatively safe to eat your steak undercooked, but hamburger meat should really be cooked through to the middle."