Burgers In NSW Will Soon Suck: Here’s Why

Burgers In NSW Will Soon Suck: Here’s Why

The NSW Food Authority has announced a crackdown on hamburgers, with restaurants threatened with stiff fines for failing to cook patties the entire way through. If you live in NSW and enjoy juicy burgers, this is a pretty depressing state of affairs. In short, our famed burgers are about to get a lot drier and less tasty. Mary’s, we hardly knew ye.

New food guidelines spearheaded by NSW food inspectors will require all hamburger mince to be cooked until there is no visible pink meat, reports Business Insider. This has caused anger among NSW chefs and burger connoisseurs who believe the health risks posed by medium-cooked patties have been exaggerated.

According to the NSW Food Authority, pink burger mince has been linked to a number of cases of food poisoning, specifically E. coli which has been known to cause death. Under the new guidelines, burger patties must therefore be cooked the whole way through to ensure consumer safety.

To reduce the potential for foodborne illnesses, chefs have been instructed to cook mince meat right through to the centre. No pink should be visible and juices should run clear with an internal temperature of no less than 71°C.

However, the burger-poisoning incidents cited in the authority’s ‘Hamburger Food Safety’ fact sheet actually occurred in the US where food safety standards are less stringent. Furthermore, the risk of E. coli usually relates to frozen patties, whereas most of the Australian chefs who are taking umbrage prepare their meat fresh daily.

With fines of up to $1540 per offense, it’s a safe bet that most NSW burger joints will begrudgingly fall in line. If you notice a sudden change in the quality of your burgers, these new guidelines are probably to blame.

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[Via Business Insider.]


  • A properly cooked paddy, all the way through, can still be tender and moist. There’s no problem here. Let’s have our burgers both healthy and delicious.

    • But there’s nothing wrong or unhealthy with it being pink in the middle when its freshly ground mince from good safe sources of beef, and there is a whole lot wrong with the government telling a customer how I’d like my burger cooked.

      You shouldn’t give into government controlling your life so easily.

      • unfortunately some of us will find it hard to get pink patties because these laws are needed to protect all of us from dodgy food places. Fresh ground meat would be fine, but too many places have their own definition of ‘fresh’.

  • Nooooooooooo!

    Sorry. Composure.

    As you mentioned, a lot of the better places actually prep their own meat. Heck, a lot of places MINCE their own from chunks of beef they buy themselves.

    And that whole “has been known to cause death” line is so tired. People, stop drinking water! It’s been known to cause death!

  • Mince should never be served undercooked anyway. It doesn’t make it any less delicious.

  • If this ever catches on nationwide, luckily as a West Australian, we will only be impacted in 20 years time 🙂

  • If you prepare the pattie correctly there is no reason it cannot be properly cooked and tasty.

    burger connoisseurs


  • What the fuck? are they going to put the same type of enforcement out there to make sure steaks are cooked to the point of well done, as well? This makes no sense.

    • Mince is mixed so the bacteria is throughout while steak only has bacteria on the outer layer which is why its safe to eat after only cooking the outside.

    • Two, completely different, things. E Coli is bacteria that can be introduced into the meat from the surface (ie; doesn’t exist inside the meat). The process in mincing meat, inherently produces a much greater amount of surface areas in which E Coli could be introduced.

        • properly prepared beef tartare should not be minced. It should be finely chopped

        • unintendedsideeffects I regularly dare. I enjoy it very much and it has never made me sick. Of course, there does need to be high degree of care in preparation, but if a premium burger maker is observing the same food practices as a good restaurant serving tartare, what’s the problem?

          (Caveat: pregnant women should not eat tartare or pink burgers)

          • What’s the problem?!
            You’ll be patient zero in a zombie pandemic!!

            Just because it has not made you sick yet, does not mean you are safe, it only means you have been lucky so far
            Care in preparation can reduce certain risks, but not eliminate them like cooking will
            If the meat already has bacteria or parasites in it, careful prep isn’t going to make it safer to eat, and you can’t see bacteria or parasites

            These are the risks you take with your barbarian eating habits 😛

            But like with raw milk, smoking, etc, customers should have the choice to consume or not, with full knowledge of the risks, it should not be a mandated law, but customers should be able to request raw meat if they are savages 😛

          • You could probably make your point just as easily without repeated personal attacks, but that’s your choice. Nothing in life is risk free, and I’ve had food poisoning a few times (always from cooked food). The risk with a well prepared steak tartare is very small.

            We certainly agree that this should not be law, but that customers should have a choice. An informed choice. If the law said that operators must prominently display a sign highlighting the risks of undercooked or uncooked meat, I think that would be a nice compromise.

          • I was poking fun, hence the smilies
            Having a sense of humour is too much to ask from a barbarian 😛

  • Damn, when does this come into effect? I was going to check out that new burger place in Sydney city that has been getting rave reviews, but I wont bother if they’re charring all the patties :(. I can burn my own mince patties at home.

  • Only barbarians eat raw food

    If you knew how unhygienic meat factories are, you’d never eat any meat that was slightly pink
    You may as well lick a toilet bowl
    But ignorance is bliss aye? ;P

      • The term omophagy (ōmophagia), meaning the eating of raw food, is mainly used to condemn the bestiality of the barbarian or pagan eating of raw meat.

        sashimi has less risks because parasites can be killed through freezing and the fish has to be fresh, it’s very different from the conditions you find in slaughterhouses

        But I worry that a lot of sushi joints run by non japanese don’t realise this and think they can just serve whatever fish they buy from the nearest fish shop…

        I wish there was a way to be sure

        • For sushi joints is slightly easier to tell since the wonderful habit of having an open kitchen to display the chef’s skill.

          Usually watching how the chef maintains cleanliness of the chopping board and how he treats the fish is a good indicator. Trained sushi chefs in Japan borderline on OCD in their treatment of the food.

          Technically if the meat is fresh and well cared for, its also okay to eat raw. I’ve seen chicken sashimi in Japan where they source chicken from farmers who certify special chicken breeds, raised specifically, tested constantly. (though I’ll probably still be too scared to try that…)

          • I agree with everything you said,

            but I was talking about ‘fast food’ sushi that you’d normally find at your local shopping center
            Also the display counter is barely cold…

          • I tend to avoid the raw fish in those places…they can treat the fish with the utmost care, but then it sits in the display for 4 hours…

          • Me too, I stick to tempura and teriyaki
            Maybe I should send their owners an email

    • Q: How do you find a vegan at a dinner party?
      A: Don’t worry they’ll let you know.

      And will talk about barbarians and pagans and spread misinformation (hint: read above about e.coli and surface area versus pink meat from a steak).

  • Is it just me – or will the actual real-world (thank me later for not saying ‘meat space’) impact actually be zero? I can’t see that police hamburger character from McDonald’s (Officer Big Mac) make a comeback – he did a Danny Glover and retired.

  • What about something like Steak Tartare? Does a restaurant risk a fine if they serve that? There doesn’t seem to be any info about this in either the linked article or the “fact sheet”.

    • NO, mince meat (used in hamburgers) is made up off different meats, vegies, etc and the bacteria can be spread throughout the mince during handling. A steak on the other hand is a piece of meat. the bacteria just doesn’t find it’s way inside haha. That’s why steak is seared on the outside to kill off the germs.

      • ompster, you are aware that steak tartare is raw minced beef with spices, right? It is not ‘steak’ in the sense you are discussing and it is most certainly not seared.

        • No i didn’t realize that sorry!
          I do imagine it’s cooked differently to burger patties though?

          • Seeing as it is served raw (ie. uncooked), i guess technically it is cooked differently to a burger…

  • Just wait, next they’ll be demanding restaurants cook chicken all the way through with no visible pink meat

  • i’d love to say amazing, but that would make it even harder for me to get into…

  • So now Sydney-sidera have no reason to go to a restaurant as well as no reason to go to a bar. Tasteless burgers and lockout laws??? Melbourne is a wiser choice

  • Imo I don’t enjoy undercooked mince meat or any red meat for that matter. For me perfectly cooked through is the best way. If its a good enough quality piece of meat then cooking it well done shouldnt make it taste bland.

  • You’re more likely to get food poisoning from the salads than from the meat in that burger.
    Completely pointless nanny stating by nsw

  • Love Rare steak, but I’m not a fan of the medium rare burger thing. I’ll eat it if presented to me, but knowing about food hygiene makes me a bit concerned if I see pink mince in my patty.

  • Stupid people. Killing microbes is a function of both time and temperature, not temperature alone. There’s absolutely no need to destroy beef by getting it to 71°C to make it safe. It just needs to be held at around 58 to 60°C longer. (For reference, a medium steak is about 58°C).

  • People telling me when to drink and what to eat.
    At least it’s still legal to shit in the shower.

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