Pink Burgers

Serving of pink burgers by food businesses and the consumption of pink burgers at home. Mole Valley District Council's (MVDC) advice is to thoroughly cook all burgers until no pink remains, the juices run clear, and an internal core temperature of 70°c for 2 minutes is achieved.

The Food Standards Agency advise that burgers cooked at home are thoroughly cooked. More information can be found on the Food Standards Agency's website

The serving of burgers which are not thoroughly cooked could present a serious risk to health because of harmful bacteria, particularly E.coli, unless suitable controls have been put in place by the business.

The Food Standards Agency released four documents in 2015 on this subject, and the key points from these are:

  1. Food business operators in Mole Valley wishing to serve pink burgers need to contact the food team before you start, or continue to serve them.
  2. Food business operators will need to produce a robust, validated written food safety management system detailing their processes. MVDC food officers will need to verify this system before you can serve pink burgers.
  3. Food business operators will need to provide a message on their menus advising consumers of the potential risks from eating undercooked burgers.

The process for being able to serve pink burgers safely is complex, and the following documents from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) detail what is required, were sent to all local authorities in England giving advice on preparation, cooking and service of them:

Update on the FSA board's position on rare burgers from 5 November

FSA's board meeting minutes relating to the service of rare burgers from 9 September 2015

Further update on rare burgers from 27 August 2015 - This document details what steps a food business operator would need to take to be able to serve pink burgers.

Update from the FSA on rare burgers from 19 March 2015

Relevant Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs

Legal Cases

In April 2015 Portsmouth City Council prohibited the service of pink burgers from a restaurant because they did not have a suitable system in place.

If you are currently, or planning to serve pink burger, please contact us, we are here to assist and advise.

Last Updated: 10/04/2017

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