USDA: Check temp not color when it comes to safe meat grilling

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Make sure your holiday burgers are cooked to 160 degrees

Make sure your holiday burgers are cooked to 160 degrees

The United States Department of Agriculture reports nearly $400 million worth of beef has been sold for use this holiday weekend.

Federal officials have some food safety tips to ensure those Fourth of July barbecues don’t end with a trip to the hospital.

Summer weather offers the ideal environment for foodborne illness to spread, said Chris Bernstein of the USDA.

“It’s hot and humid outside, and bacteria grow more quickly in that weather,” he said. “Also, we are at barbecuess, picnics, camping trips — and away from the conveniences of the kitchen that help keep foodborne illness at bay.”

About 25 percent of hamburgers that appear cooked are not.

“Oftentimes, people say, ‘I don’t want my burger with any red on the inside.’ They will cut it open, see it’s brown, and they think that’s it’s done and it’s ready to eat,” Bernstein said. “Often, it won’t be a safe internal temperature even though there’s no red on the inside of the burger.”

The safe temperature for hamburgers is 160 degrees — whether those burgers are beef or turkey. 

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