The organisation safefood has just released a new report based on an online survey they conducted about food safety. They found that 96% of people consider themselves well informed about food safety, but 51% of them are eating undercooked burgers in restaurants. Even though respondents of the survey listed a variety of factors as to why they are eating undercooked burgers, ranging from taste and confidence in the food preparation, 65% of them admit that they would reconsider this choice if they had known that they were at risk of getting food poisoning.
This research has sparked the release of safefood’s new campaign entitled ‘Burger Fever,’ which has been developed in order to educate the public on the importance of only eating burgers that are well done to prevent people from contracting serious and sometimes fatal food poisoning. The main message of their campaign is to always ask for burgers to be well cooked.
More and more restaurants all across Ireland are serving burgers cooked to preference, which is starting to raise serious concerns with regulatory authorities including the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and HSE’s Environmental Health Service. In fact, because of this the FSAI has advised caterers to only serve burgers that are well done.
Although this might not seem like a serious issue because most people who get sick from food poisoning recovery rather quickly, some E. coli carry the risk of more serious long-term effects.
Dr. Martin Cormican, a Professor of Bacteriology at National University of ireland, Galway (NUIG), states that “some types of E. coli that are harmless to cows can be very dangerous to people. The biggest worry is a type of E. coli called VTEC. VTEC causes severe diarrhoea. About 1 in 10 people who get VTEC diarrhoea will develop severe complications affecting the blood and kidneys. The biggest risk is to children and older people. If there is VTEC in the middle of your burger, only proper cooking will kill it. If your burger is not well cooked in the middle you are taking a big risk. Eating burgers that are pink in the middle is a bit like driving without a seatbelt; you might get away with it for years but if something goes wrong and you are harmed, will you still think it was worth it?”
To find out more about safefood’s campaign check out #burgerfever on social media and visit their website at www.safefood.eu.