Is it Safe to Eat a Burger That's Still Pink Inside?


Question: I recently attended a barbeque at a friend’s house. The hamburgers he served were still pink on the inside. I don’t believe anyone got ill, but could that really be safe?

Answer: Yes, a cooked burger that’s pink on the inside can be safe to eat — but only if the meat’s internal temperature has reached 160°F throughout.

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture points out, it’s not at all unusual for hamburgers to remain pink inside after they’ve been safely cooked.

The only way to accurately determine whether ground beef has reached a safe internal temperature is to use a meat thermometer. If you’re served a pink burger, you should always check first to see if it’s reached that 160°F mark, advises the USDA.

Of course, when you’re a guest at someone else’s home, that can be a tricky maneuver to pull off. If you know your host doesn’t use a meat thermometer when grilling, you should request your burger “well done.” If you still get a pink burger after that, you might want to stick to the hot dogs.

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