(NC) - Harmful bacteria on raw ground beef or in its juices can be transferred to your hands, cutting boards, knives, and taps during preparation and cooking. Here are some tips on how to rid ground beef of potentially harmful bacteria:
Wash your hands before and after handling any raw food especially meat, poultry and seafood
Cook raw ground beef properly in order to prevent illness. Cook to an internal temperature of 71 C (160 F)
When using probe type thermometers, remove meat from the source of heat and insert the probe through the side of the thickest burger into the centre of the patty. Ensure a temperature of 71 C (160 F) has been achieved. Take the temperature in several patties to ensure all the burgers are cooked.
Ensure that any surfaces contacted by raw meat or its juices have been cleaned thoroughly.
Do not allow ready to eat foods such as lettuce, to contact raw meat or its juices.
Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked meats from the heat source.
Keep hot foods at 60 C (140 F) or above, and refrigerate food that is below 60 C (140 F) within two hours.