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  1. #1
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    Default Another paranoid pregnant lady and mince meat

    So I do feel a bit silly asking this, but here goes nothing..

    Last night I had dinner with a friend at Ribs & Burgers. I ordered a plain beef burger and asked for it to be very well done..as I am paranoid about listeria, toxoplasmosis etc.

    When it was brought out, I immediately cut the burger in half to check how well cooked it was...found the middle of the mince patty to be raw and pink. My friend had a look and it actually looked like the meat was frozen and then cooked, as the meat was actually quite flakey and raw, rather than juicy and raw bloody.

    I sent it back, the staff were apologetic and said they would make me another fresh burger. So the second one comes out..again I cut the burger in half and although the middle was mostly browned, there were flecks of pink meat. I cut around the entire middle of the burger to ensure i didn't eat any pink parts and then I ate (most) of the rest. My friend again comments on how it appears they are using frozen patties, as the burger was extremely well done on the outside with a fairly unjuicy, flakey middle- an indication in her opinion that the meat was frozen.

    So my questions are:

    - strange question, but for any bubhubbers in hospitality or with the know-how, is it likely the meat had been stored frozen first based on the appearance and texture of the meat? I imagine most of these places would freeze for longevity.

    -Although I didn't eat the pink parts, if the meat was hypothetically contaminated, I believe I could still get sick with things like toxoplasmosis if the raw meat contaminated the cooked parts after i cut it?

    Chances are, I'm totally fine and being crazy (according to my husband) but I guess the paranoid mother-to-be in me can't help it. I'm 24 weeks at the moment...and usually quite logical but pregnancy has made me slightly anxious and paranoid!

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    Not directly answering your question, but pregnant or not, I wouldn't ever eat mince that was not thoroughly cooked. I can't remember the exact reason by rare steak is ok, but somethiing about bacteria on the surface or the meat getting mixed through the meat or something like that.

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    Yep I have heard the same thing, in hindsight, I should have sent it back again.

    The issue with mince meat is as you said, the bacteria is all throughout the meat through the processing and mincing process. Steak requires surface cooking to kill bacteria.

    I believe this issue of surface versus all over bacteria relates to salmonella and e.coli, I believe in the case of toxo, it doesn't really matter either way...the parasite can be all through the meat and is only killed through cooking- steak or mince needs to be cooked all the way through to kill it.

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    Default :/

    I've read that if the meat was frozen prior to cooking the parasites/bacteria has been killed anyway?

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    Freezing does not kill anything, just slows bacterial growth and once thawed, growth continues at the normal pace. It sounds like it was cooked from frozen rather than thawed first and then cooked. Not a very tasty method of cooking as the outside will get way over cooked while trying to get the middle cooked through. You are right about the surface area being the issue with mince. The danger factor will depend on the freshness of the mince prior to freezing as well as the temp and storage methods while frozen. Hope all is ok, I would be avoiding that establishment in future!


 

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