Tastebuds are funny little things, and they seem to vary from person to person. Many people enjoy organic meat, but some tastebuds prefer their meat well-cooked, while others salivate at the thought of a rare steak.
If you’re an Australian who can’t go past a steak with juicy pink meat in the centre, you’re not alone. However, there are some health concerns over eating raw and undercooked meat – so is the rare steak you love so much even safe to consume?
According to the New South Wales Food Authority, eating raw meat can contain dangerous bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and e.coli, all of which can potentially cause serious food poisoning and illness.
So how do you tell if your food is safe to eat or not? It’s all in the temperature. These bacteria are destroyed during the cooking process, but meat will need to reach a certain temperature in order to be free of risk.
The NSW Food Authority pinpoints “the danger zone” as between 5 degrees and 60 degrees. Considering the usual temperature for a rare steak sits at around 55 degrees to 60 degrees according to Meat and Livestock Australia’s web page ‘themainmeal.com.au’, it’s possible that your piece may be a little on the undercooked side.
To avoid putting yourself at risk of food poisoning, it’s best to ensure any steak you cook exceeds a temperature of 60 degrees. However, it’s still okay to have a little pink in the middle, so all is not lost for rare steak eaters. The NSW Food Authority suggests medium-rare steak sit at a temperature of 63 degrees – so perhaps train your tastebuds to enjoy the next level on the ‘degree of doneness’ scale.
Finding the temperature of your steak is easy – you’ll need to invest in a meat thermometer. When inserted inside the food, it will deliver an accurate internal temperature.
Thus, a little pink is fine for a delicious organic beef steak – just check the heat! However, keep in mind that meat such as chicken, mince and sausages should all be cooked until there are absolutely no visible pink parts in order to be safe to consume.