In March, more than 100 people fell ill from an E. coli outbreak that federal health officials now say is linked to ground beef. Here’s information your can use year round to keep you safe from E-coli, Trichinosis, and Salmonella.
Before cooking any type of meat, you must find out what internal temperature must be reached for the meat to be safely eaten. This is important for several reasons.
The first, and most important, is that you don’t want to give anyone food poisoning or a food-borne illness by undercooking the meat, or leaving the meat in the ‘Danger Zone.’
The second is because you want to ensure that you are cooking your meat to your desired doneness (i.e. rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.) and not overcooking it.
Safe Internal Meat Temperatures
Food Danger Zone
So, what is the ‘Danger Zone?’ According to foodsafety.gov, the ‘Danger Zone’ is when foods are held between 40 F and 140 F for two or more hours.
Food should never be held at these temperatures because most bacteria will quite happily reproduce in that range.
These bacteria can cause food poisoning and food-borne illnesses, which in turn can make you very sick.
These bacteria reproduce very slowly, if at all, below 40 F and above 140 F. But note that the temperatures at which bacteria are killed vary according to the microbe.
For example, salmonella is killed by heating it to 131 F for one hour, 140 F for a half-hour, or by heating it to 167 F for 10 minutes. When it comes to killing microorganisms, both heat level and time affect the equation.
E-coli, Trichinosis, and Salmonella
There’s also the issue of where the contamination is found. E-coli lives in the intestinal tract of animals, not the flesh.
The danger is that in the process of butchering a cow or chicken, some of the contents of the intestinal tract may contaminate the exposed flesh.
That’s why it’s relatively safe to sear a steak over high heat and still eat it rare or medium rare (125 to 135 F).
That’s also why all ground meat should be cooked to 160 F because the external flesh and internal flesh are mixed together during grinding.
Trichinosis, which is a multi-celled parasite and not a bacterium, lives in the muscles and so searing the outside of, say, a pork chop won’t kill any organisms in the meat, though it will taste better.
Trichinosis is killed at 135 F, so it’s safe to eat pork if it’s cooked to at least 140 or 145 F. Though do remember, if the pork is ground, it should be cooked to 160 F.
Salmonella can sometimes inhabit the meat of poultry, so cooking chicken and turkey to at least 160 F is wise.
Salmonella can also inhabit eggs and so there is a risk with soft-boiled eggs, omelets, and scrambled eggs if any part of the egg is left undone, like the yolk. Hence why pregnant women are advised not to eat these types of eggs.
Cooking Meat at Low Temperatures
It’s safe to cook meat and vegetables at low temperatures for longer periods or higher temperatures for shorter periods. And it’s almost always safer to sear meat over high heat before cooking it at lower temps.
For low-temperature cooking both for roasts and braises, it’s a good idea to brown the meat first over medium-high heat (about 350 F) and then follow the recipe for cooking at a low temperature for a longer period of time.
Heat alone isn’t the only element in preventing food poisoning. There’s also a toxicity factor. Some bacteria are simply more toxic than others, and some toxins hang around after the bacteria is dead.
Most people with healthy immune systems can ingest a bit of salmonella or listeria and their systems will kill it off without them even noticing.
Botulism toxins, though, are highly potent and dangerous, and even a small dose of the bacteria can have significant effects.
Botulism occurs mostly in improperly canned goods, but can also appear in homemade sausage. Never take a chance on something that might contain botulism.
USDA Food Safety Guidelines
If you want to be exceptionally safe, follow the USDA food safety guidelines and cook everything to at least 160 F.
Again, never hold hot food below 140 F, and make sure to cool food you’re going to refrigerate quickly to at least 40 F, so that you aren’t flirting with the Danger Zone.
Wash hands well before and after preparing food.
Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometers are available on Amazon. Here’s one of their Bestsellers:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Current Warnings and Travel Advisories:
More than 100 people have fallen ill from an E. coli outbreak that the federal health officials now say is linked to ground beef.
A total of 109 people in six states have been infected with the strain of Escherichia coli O103. No deaths or cases of kidney failure have been reported, but 17 have been hospitalized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
The infections date back to March, but the common cause of the illnesses was previously unknown. The CDC said health officials are working to determine a common supplier, distributor or brand of the ground beef.
Kentucky and Tennessee have seen the highest number of cases, with 54 and 28, respectively. Other states affected are Indiana, Georgia, Ohio and Virginia, the CDC says.
For More On This Story Visit:
OR you can become Vegan. Vegans (total vegetarians) do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
Are you planning a trip? You might be inspired to after checking out the 15 best cities in the world for vegan food.
15 Of The Most Vegan-Friendly Cities In The World
1. New York City
The Big Apple is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. Not only is it packed with meat-free and plant-based restaurants, but many of its non-vegan restaurant menus are also plating up plant-based options. If you’re self-catering, many supermarkets – like Lifethyme, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s- throughout the city have shelves brimming with vegan food.
If you’re visiting the “City That Never Sleeps,” be sure to check out one of these five vegan-friendly restaurants:
1. By Chloe – a vegan fast-casual restaurant with six locations in West Village, Flatiron, Soho, Rock Center, Williamsburg, and Seaport District.
2. Seasoned Vegan – a soul food restaurant based in Harlem.
3. Champs Diner – classic diner food with a vegan twist, based in Brooklyn’s Bushwick Neighbourhood.
4. Avant Garden – an upscale vegan restaurant with two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
5. Beyond Sushi – a vegan sushi chain with locations across Manhattan.
Bristol has a vegan scene to rival any capital city around the world. Located in the southwest of the UK, the maritime city has landed in the top 10 of many lists of the world’s best vegan-friendly destinations. Most recently, Chef’s Pencil named it as the number one destination for plant-based food in the world, edging out major European capitals like Berlin and London.
The popular destination is even home to vegan vending machines. Earlier this year, Vegan Vend launched Violet and Daisy — two purely plant-based vending machines — in the Galleries shopping center and studio complex the Island.
According to restaurant app Happy Cow, Bristol is home to a whopping 167 vegan restaurants. Here are five top picks:
1. Suncraft – healthy vegan cafe on Gloucester Road.
2. Oowee – a vegan junk food diner on Baldwin Street.
3. Vx – vegan fast food cafe on East Street.
4. Eat Your Greens – vegan cafe serving Sunday Roasts on Wells Road.
5. Earthcake – vegan bakery serving cake, tea, and sandwiches on North Street.
Alongside Bristol, London is one of the UK’s most vegan-friendly cities. In the capital, you can find vegan food at countless restaurants, independent grocery stores, supermarket chains, markets, and pop-ups. If you’re a party animal, head into Vegan Nights. Brick Lane’s monthly festival night celebrates everything plant-based, with live music, DJs, and lots and lots of indulgent, creative, tasty vegan food. If you prefer to keep things a bit more quiet and relaxed, you could take a trip up the OXO tower for a spot of vegan afternoon tea.
Whatever you fancy, London should be able to deliver. If you’re planning a meal out, here are five top vegan restaurant picks:
1. Temple of Seitan – a vegan fried chicken fast food-style restaurant with locations in Camden and Hackney.
2. Vantra Loungevity – lounge bar serving steamed and raw vegan food on Wardour Street.
3. Itadaki Zen – vegan sushi restaurant at King’s Cross.
4. By Chloe – vegan fast-casual restaurant in Covent Garden and Tower Bridge.
5. Club Mexicana – a vegan Mexican restaurant in Dinerama.
Germany’s capital city has so much to offer; from art to history to culture, it doesn’t disappoint and neither does its vegan food scene. If you’re looking for junk food, raw food, smoothies, donuts, or snacks, this city has you covered. If you prefer to cook for yourself, Berlin is also brimming with organic supermarkets where you can buy whole food produce. Try Veganz, Basic Bio, or Alnatura, for example. If it’s a sit-down meal you want, try one of these top five restaurants:
1. Bamerang – a rock and metal bar serving vegan cakes and snacks.
2. Kopps – one of the best vegan fine-dining restaurants in the world.
3. Viasko – a vegan restaurant known for its freshly baked cakes.
4. Vöner – a vegan Doner kebab joint.
5. Cafe Vux – a cafe serving sweet indulgent vegan desserts.
5. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is arguably one of the easiest places on the planet to be vegan. Among a plethora of plant-based restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and independent grocery stores, the southern city even has its own vegan milkman, a Jewish delicatessen that makes pastrami out of mushrooms, and an In-n-Out style vegan burger joint. Every year it also plays host to Eat Drink Vegan, which is basically a plant-based foodie version of Coachella. If it’s a regular restaurant experience you’re after, here are top five restaurant picks:
1. Little Pine – a vegan restaurant owned by animal activist and musician Moby.
2. Crossroads Kitchen – an upmarket vegan eatery offering wine, cocktails, and fine food.
3. Cruzer Pizza & Pasta – a pizza restaurant serving a variety of creative recipes with vegan meats and cheeses.
4. Gracias Madre – a Mexican restaurant serving vegan versions of traditional recipes.
5. SunCafe – vegan cafe serving a variety of light cooked dishes as well as raw recipes.
6. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, a backpacking hotspot and one of the most relaxed destinations in South East Asia, is also a vegan haven. According to Happy Cow, the northern Thai city has much to offer in terms of cuisine, with plant-based Thai, Burmese, Indian, Chinese, and Western on offer.
Here are five of the top restaurants to check out if you’re visiting the laidback northern jewel of Thailand any time soon.
1. Reform Kafe – located in the Green Tiger Guesthouse, the restaurant serves vegan versions of Thai classics.
2. Bee Vegan – a restaurant offering plant-based Thai dishes and Western cuisine, too.
3. Munchies – a vegan fast food joint serving comfort food like vegan hot dogs and fish and chips.
4. Dtrairatanrap – a restaurant serving Chinese and Thai vegan dishes, including plant-based meats and fish.
5. Hearts Choices – a vegan cafe serving traditional Thai-style dishes.
7. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv in Israel has long been at the forefront of the vegan movement. Last year, at Tel Aviv Pride, a vegan LGBTQIA+ float joined the parade to send a message of compassion to all, and in March 2018, the city held its fifth annual “Vegan Congress,” which has doubled in size since the first event was held in 2014. “We will continue to carry the banner of veganism in Israel and lead the field with great pride,” said Omri Paz of Vegan-Friendly, which sponsored the event.
As is to be expected from a city often dubbed the “vegan capital of the world,” Tel Aviv is also home to a number of vegan restaurants. Here are our five top picks:
1. Dosa Bar – an Indian restaurant that serves a variety of vegan street food.
2. Anastasia – one of the city’s first vegan restaurants. It serves healthy raw and gluten-free food, as well as sandwiches and vegan cheese platters.
3. Goodness – a vegan diner serving schnitzel and tofu among other comfort food options.
4. Nature Boys – a vegan fast food joint with a twist; there is no frying of any food involved.
5. Meshek Barzilay – a fully vegan and organic restaurant that serves a variety of dishes, including breakfast, pancakes, and Indian Thali.
Melbourne, the Australian capital of Victoria, is one of the most visited destinations in the country thanks to its location on the coast. It’s packed with things to do, including museums and nightlife, and is home to some beautiful beaches. When you tire of the sand, Melbourne is also a vegan travelers paradise, with plenty of choice to please even the fussiest of eaters. Here are our five top restaurant choices:
1. Lord of the Fries – the meat-free fast food joint is one of Australia’s most popular vegan destinations, and there are six located in Melbourne.
2. Smoothme Superfood Bar – a vegan bar that serves açaí bowls and smoothies as well as cheesecake and savory bagels.
3. Crossways – a vegetarian restaurant that serves an all-vegan buffet for lunch.
4. Saravana Bhavan – an International vegetarian chain that sells South Indian meat-free cuisine.
5. Realfoods Organic Cafe – serves a variety of raw vegan and gluten-free meals.
Chennai, located on the eastern coast of India, was recently crowned India’s most vegan-friendly city – no mean feat for a city in a country that prides itself on vegetarian cuisine. Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) awarded the city its title. CEO of PETA India Dr. Manilal Valliyate said at the time, “global interest in the vegan lifestyle has never been higher, and Chennai is leading the country in responding to it.” As you would expect, many restaurants in Chennai offer vegan options, but these are our top five:
1. Raw Routine – serves sugar cane blends, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and salads.
2. Wild Garden Cafe at Amethyst – offers continental cuisine with a variety of vegan options, including tofu scramble.
3. Ananda Bhavan – a veggie restaurant serving Southern Indian-inspired vegan food.
4. Annalakshmi – another high-quality veggie restaurant serving Southern Indian-inspired vegan food.
5. Flower Drum – a vegetarian restaurant serving Indian, Chinese, and Thai food with plenty of vegan food on offer.
Portland in Oregon really is the place to be if you’re after lots of vegan food choice. The city is packed with options and is frequently acknowledged as one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in the U.S. The city is so cruelty-free, it’s even home to an all-vegan strip club. If it’s just food you’re after, here are our five top restaurant picks:
1. Homegrown Smoker – a cafe offering vegan versions of BBQ and Soul dishes.
2. Virtuous Pie – a restaurant offering vegan pizza and dairy-free ice cream.
3. Aviv – an Israeli vegan restaurant serving a variety of dishes, including falafel bowls.
4. Blossoming Lotus – an organic cafe serving freshly made healthy vegan food.
5. Veggie Grill – a plant-based fast-casual chain.
The capital of Hungary is super popular among backpackers, thanks to its cheap bars, rich history, and pretty architecture. It’s also a hot spot for vegan food, with plenty of variety on offer. See below for our top five Budapest vegan restaurant picks:
1. Madal Food – a vegan pasta bar with creamy fresh pasta options.
2. Slow Foodiez – vegan restaurant serving Hungarian dishes among options like Spanish omelette and sushi.
3. Vegazzi – a vegan Neopolitan pizza parlour.
4. Napfenyes Restaurant – a vegan restaurant serving Hungarian specialties.
5. Szabad Bisztro – a new vegan pub serving a variety of sandwiches, bagels, and of course, beer.
12. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is a Vietnamese jewel; it’s busy, it’s bustling, it’s full of history, and you guessed it, its vegan scene isn’t half bad either. There aren’t many things to keep you away from Ho Chi Minh City, so if you do decide to visit, try one of these five top restaurants:
1. The Organick House – a veggie restaurant serving a number of vegan dishes and a variety of smoothies and juices.
2. Hum Vegetarian – the veggie chain has a few locations across the city. It offers healthy plant-based dishes and raw vegan options.
3.Veggie Saigon – a restaurant serving vegan and vegetarian traditional Vietnamese dishes, including seaweed spring rolls.
4. A Di Da Phat – a vegan Vietnamese restaurant with plant-based meats on the menu.
5. Prem Bistro and Cafe – stop at this vegan-friendly cafe for a spot of scrambled tofu or a quinoa stir fry.
There isn’t much not to love about Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The medieval city is the largest in the country and as you may already be aware, is steeped in fascinating history and architecture. If you’re visiting the capital and need to rest your weary feet after all that sightseeing, try one of these five restaurants:
1. Prasad – a veggie restaurant offering a daytime buffet packed with plant-based treats.
2. Bubu’s Pub & Kitchen – stop by this vegan pub for a plant-based snack and an indulgent locally brewed beer.
3. Country Life Restaurant – a vegan restaurant serving a buffet and a selection of burgers, salads, and juices.
4. Forky’s – a vegan fast food joint offering hot dogs, burgers, and kebabs.
5. Herbivore – a vegan bistro serving soups, salads, and a selection of cakes.
Fancy sunning yourself in beautiful Bali? In between beach stops, head inland to busy Ubud, where you can visit temples, markets, and lots of vegan-friendly restaurants. See below for our top picks:
1. Clear Cafe – a vegan-friendly cafe with a focus on serving international cuisine made with locally-sourced produce.
2. Sage – a vegan restaurant serving burgers and burritos, as well as indulgent cakes, like banana bread.
3. Earth Cafe – a vegan cafe serving a variety of healthy plant-based dishes.
4. Kafe – stop by this plant-based cafe for a healthy organic brunch.
5. Warung Sopa – a traditional Indonesian buffet-style warung with plenty of plant-based food options.
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is popular for a number of reasons; it’s home to a castle, a diverse music and art scene, and plenty of beautiful architecture. It’s also home to a growing vegan scene and has plenty of plant-based restaurants for hungry travelers to fuel their busy sightseeing schedule. See below for a list of five top picks:
1. NovaPizza Vegetarian Kitchen – this veggie pizza and pasta restaurant has an extensive vegan menu filled with dairy-free cheese and plant-based meats.
2. Holy Cow – a vegan cafe with a focus on using sustainably sourced local produce.
3. Naked Bakery – a vegan bakery serving a variety of sweet treats and savoury options, including toasties and soups.
4. Karma Kebab – a vegan cafe offering vegan versions of the traditional Doner kebab.
5. Beetroot Sauvage – a vegan cafe serving smoothies and juices; it also hosts yoga classes and a weekly vegan market.