Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 1 decade ago

Why can you eat steak rare but not hamburger meat????

I need this answer for a class im taking. Please leave the email adress if you know it. Thank you alot.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    the ground meat can come in contact with surfaces that have bacteria and the bacteria ends up inside the meat patty. A steak dosen't have bacteria inside, only on the surface which are killed during the cooking process.

  • 1 decade ago

    You shouldn't eat EITHER rare, but the answer is all about surface area and meat choice. While cows are known to have some bacteria and other nasties inside that can cause foodborn illness, the muscle tissue is relatively safe if cooked to the USDA's approved temperature for rare steak. The main concern from steak is cross-contamination from the surfaces and items it is cooked on or near.

    While steaks are made from the most ideal cuts of meat, hamburger is not often as lucky, and is often a mish-mash of varying body areas, including places that are exposed to the digestive tract during preparation, home to the dreaded E. Coli bacterium. The minute you grind that beef up, you increase the surface area with which the native E. Coli and other air and food-born microbes can enter the meat, and every little turn or mixing of the meat seals them in. Because of the differing styles of handling steak and ground meat, most states have outlawed rare hamburgers to assure that the bacteria are all killed.

  • 1 decade ago

    Everyone else answering has been correct. When meat is processed there is the potential for getting contaminates (feces, hair, entrails, etc) on the meat. When you cook a steak, the heat searing the outside kills these contaminants. However, hamburger is ground steak. It grinds up the outside and mixes it with the middle so you don't know what is what. Then the bacteria is on the inside and starts to multiply. This high growth of bacteria is not killed if not cooked to a high enough temp. (165 degrees).

    By the way, salmonella and e. coli are always present on our bodies and food. We consume it everyday and have no problems. The problems we do have is when we consume too much when it has grown in or on foods. That is why foods must be kept lower than 40 degrees or over 140 degrees. It inhibits the amount of bacteria growth.

    Source(s): Me! I'm a chef and hospitality instructor for Food Service Sanitation.
  • 1 decade ago

    Many people eat it both ways.

    However, people are more cautious with ground meat is because it goes through processing which steak cuts do not go through. Some believe because of the processing that the meat may have been contaminated in the factory. That is what I was lead to believe as a child as I use to eat raw hamburger out of the package. To this day, I eat my meat undercooked. Steak is always rare and hamburgers are medium.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Steak is a cross-sectional cut of muscle tissue. Any bacterial contamination (think of e. coli) will be on the surface of the steak, where it will be killed by the searing heat of the grill or pan it is cooked in.

    Hamburger, on the other hand, consists of meat that has been ground and mixed. Bacterial contamination on the interior of the burger isn't killed until the burger reaches an interior temperature of 160 degrees F (equivalent to well done for a steak).

    You can cook a hamburger rare safely...if you purchase whole cuts of meat yourself from a safe source, keep the meat properly chilled until you're ready to use it, and grind the meat yourself, then immediately cook it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Steaks are a whole meat, and so to safely consume them you only need to raise the internal temperature to 145ºF, because hamburger is a ground meat and the bacterium from the outer portion of the meat has been mixed throughout the item you have to treat it more carefully and raise it's internal temperature to 165ºF. Some people eat them under that temperature, but that's a risk some people are willing to take.

    Source(s): Safety & Sanitation class
  • 1 decade ago

    General Guidelines

    Even though harmful bacteria are usually only on the surface of whole beef cuts, there is growing concern that bacteria may be present in the internal portions of the meat as well, which is why it is now recommended that whole beef cuts be cooked to an internal temperature of not less than 145°F. With ground beef the meat has been ground up so the external surface has now been mixed in with the rest of the beef.

  • 1 decade ago

    because grinding up hamburger meat blends in the outer edges of the meat into the middle. The outer part harbors the most bacteria and it is heated up well enough to kill the bacteria when prepared as a steak. but with ground beef, the outer-now mixed in part-gets just warm enough to cause the bacteria to grow.

    Source(s): um, I just know. can't remember where I learned this. Possibly food handler's permit class at health dept
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bacteria can grow more easily in the ground meat.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Who said you cant? Although it sounds disgusting to eat ANY meat rare or uncooked, I know people who eate raw hamburger!

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