ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is It Safe to Eat a Rare Hamburger?

Updated on June 29, 2013

It is not safe to eat rare hamburgers. However, whether to eat a rare or semi-rare hamburger is a personal decision based on your own beliefs and risk tolerance. Sure there is always the risk of E. coli and bacteria in under-cooked or rare meats. But is the risk low enough?

Personally, I would not eat a rare hamburger. To be safe there should be no pink in the hamburger. But occasionally, I might eat medium rare steak that is semi-rare on the inside. But the outside should still be fully cooked because that is the part that is exposed to the air and bacteria.

The risks are higher in hamburgers than that of steaks. This is because hamburger meat is ground up in advanced in a mixer and every part of the meat is exposed to the air. In a steak, the inside portion of the meat is only exposed when you cut into it just before you put it into your mouth. explains it better ...

"When you make a hamburger, though, you are using ground meat. This means that you're taking all the inside meat and turning it into outside meat, while simultaneously touching all of that previously inside meat on the outside meat."

Bacteria and virus live on the outside of the meat. This is assuming that the meat is from a healthy animal. The risk depends on the quality of the animal. The pastured raised and grass-fed cows will have meat of higher quality than the commercial fed-lot cows which are kept in cramped and sometimes unsanitary conditions.

Meat of Hamburger is from Many Cows

Another problem with hamburger meat is that it consists of grounded up meat from many cows and sometimes from many different farms. This increases the risk of getting a meat of a sick animal in there.

As written on page 6 of the book The Happiness Diet, it says ...

"The greater the number of cheap cuts of meat ground into a single patty, the greater the risk of contamination with E. coli. A standard fast-food hamburger contains the trimmings of dozens of cows raised around the globe."

Hamburgers Should Be Cooked to 160 degrees

According to Food Safety News, hamburgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. And you can not judge this be looking at its color. You need a meat thermometer inserted into the side of the hamburger (not the top). Some meats can turn brown without reaching this temperature. And other can still be pink after reaching this temperature.

The article further says that it is a myth to think that it's safe to eat medium-rare hamburger even if they are organic and from grass-fed cows.

Problem with Overcooking Meats

Then there is the problem on the other extreme where the meat is charred or overcooked. When meats are heated at high temperatures, it produces harmful heterocyclic amines (HCA) that some believe is carcinogenic.

You can learn more about HCAs on Wikipedia which says that...

"Carcinogenic heterocyclic amines are created by high temperature cooking of meat"


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BlissfulWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi Bliss

      And to think I used to love burgers before seeing this, LOL.

      I never touch pink meat of any sort and always went for the overcooked, charred, blackened to the point of being harder than steel, break your teeth meat but the last bit of this article has just confirmed that I'm doomed.

      It's OK I've been doomed for a long time and it has had nothing to do with what I eat, LOL.

      Great read and thanks for writing.


    • BlissfulWriter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      You are welcome.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)