Ban on Burgers Cooked Rare or Medium Rare Goes Too Far

Say What!? 12

BurgerI know food safety guidelines are important, but really now. When it comes to how I like my burgers, I do not want Uncle Sam having any say in the matter. I like 'em rare, juicy, and smothered in cheddar cheese. But if I were to try ordering that in London, I'd be shut down if a proposed law gets passed. Denied.

The Westminster council says it's cracking down on rare and medium-rare burger sales for food safety reasons, but it seems pretty draconian and over-the-top to me. Could something like that actually happen over here?

In an interview with a local newspaper, James Armitage, the council’s food health and safety manager, said they'd enlisted "the U.K.'s top expert on E. coli," who warned that "rare minced meat that is not correctly cooked and prepared can kill." Hence the crackdown on burgers with a lot of pink inside.

I don't want to wind up with food poisoning. Ever. But I also don't want anyone (I'm looking at you, Mayor Bloomberg ...) telling me how I have to eat my meat. If the restaurant is clean and has passed health inspections, why wouldn't I assume the meat they're serving me has been handled with care and is pathogen-free? I totally do. Am I being naive? I don't think so. Don't tread on me, bro.

Food safety is important, but I don't want the government stepping in and telling me how I have to eat my burger. Anything more than medium-rare becomes a burned hockey puck, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm responsible for my own decisions when it comes to what I eat and how I eat it.

Do you think the government has the right to tell us how we should cook our burgers?


Image via TheHungryDudes/Flickr

eating out, dinner, fast food, lunch, food safety


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nonmember avatar Jessie

Many restuarants in the us will not serve rare or med rare burgers either. This is due to fear of sanitation violations.

Christina Mancuso-Henry

To quote the article: "If the restaurant is clean and has passed health inspections, why wouldn't I assume the meat they're serving me has been handled with care and is pathogen-free?" E.Coli and other pathogen contamination of ground meat rarely happens at the place it is prepared. These bacteria are introduced at the meat processing facility it was created at and their presence is more common than you think. The only time there is a public recall of meat is when the illness can be without a doubt directly linked to the company/facility that produced the meat and it takes far more than 1 case of illness/death to cause a stir. Thus, no matter how many Michelin stars a restaurant has, no matter how squeaky clean the place looks or what their rating says, all food preparers could possibly serve contaminated meat. Do I think there should be a country-wide ban on undercooked meat? No, because when you order something like that, you know the risk involved, just like you know that you can get sick from eating cookie dough or licking the cake batter bowl. It really isn't worth the risk but it tastes damn good!

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I prefer my meat thoroughly dead rather than still mooing at me, but I don't care if other people eat their burgers/steaks rare and I definitely don't think the government should have anything to do with it.

However, England did have some serious public health issues with contaminated meat at several different times in recent years, so that may have something to do with it.

nonmember avatar David Smith

Uh, you are a moron.

The Ecoli does not originate in the restaurant, it comes from cow poop.

It is in the burger meat already when it comes to the restaurant.

If the meat is being on the premises, that's another story.

Austin Keenan

 Inspections at plants,  packing centers,  restaurants are as of a moment in time.   It just takes one minor snafu along the way to make you the unlucky one who gets to suffer.   

When/if  they ban it they're telling you that the health inspections and regulations just can't be tight enough all the time to assure that you're not taking what they consider an an unreasonable risk

I think adults should be capable of deciding what risks are reasonable to them so I don't think they should ban their choice.   




babyb... babybluejess12

Uh oh!  I think you just gave Bloomberg I knew Crusade 


nonmember avatar Jamie

I live in Canada and have spent years in the restaurant industry. It isn't uncommon to require a restaurant guest to sign a waiver if they request a burger that isn't completely cooked just in case there was a complaint or whatever we could say 'hey this person requested a mushy medium rare burger, they were informed of the potential risk'. Like others have said before, the contamination more than likely didn't happen at the restaurant where you're dining, rather than where the meat came from. Restaurants get ground beef in 20+ pound packs and god knows how many cows are in that one box of beef.

PonyC... PonyChaser

What??? You want us to be responsible for our choices??? BLASPHEMY!!!!!

Kristen Olsen

I eat my burgers medium but enjoy a medium rare steak.

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