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.]