Following proper meat handling and cooking protocols not only protects your patrons, but your reputation as well. Cross-contamination is the most common culprit for foodborne illness, and requiring your employees to follow these guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will help ensure the food you serve is as safe as it is delicious.
- Keep raw meat and poultry refrigerated or frozen, and separate from other foods
- Wash working surfaces (including cutting boards), utensils and hands after touching raw meat or poultry
- Cook thoroughly (internal temperature should always reach a minimum of 160°F) and keep hot foods hot; refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard
Regardless of how you prepare your burger patties (charcoal grill, flat-top grill, broiler or oven), the USDA recommends cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill most harmful bacteria. Use a calibrated meat thermometer to check the patty’s temperature in multiple locations to ensure it is properly cooked all the way through.