Long before the cooking thermometer was invented, housewives, cooks and chefs had to rely on the color of beef to determine if it was cooked. However, with the rampant cases of foodborne illnesses, this method is now considered an unsafe and unreliable option.
One of the main reasons why one should not rely on the color of the beef to determine if it is cooked is due to the possibility of it being contaminated with a bacterium called E.coli. In fact, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that 46 percent of E.coli cases were as a result of under-cooked beef.
Eating beef contaminated with E.coli can cause illness and produce symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping. It has even been shown to develop into life threatening illnesses such as strokes, brain damage, kidney failure and seizures. Statistics also show that this dangerous pathogen is responsible for an estimated 96,000 illnesses, over 3000 hospitalizations and 31 deaths in U.S annually.
While the exterior of beef may seem to have achieved the perfect color of doneness, there still exists a high possibility that the insides may not be cooked. This can be the case especially if the beef is being grilled on a high flame, if the meat is from an older carcass or if it is stored for 24 hours or more.
Since E.coli cannot be detected with the naked eye the only way to kill the pathogen and ensure that beef is safe to eat is by cooking it to internal temperatures of 160 ºF, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Accurate temperatures can be detected using an instant read thermometer such as the Chef Remi Cooking Thermometer available on Amazon.
The Chef Remi Cooking Thermometer provides an accurate temperature in mere seconds on an LCD instant read display. The thermometer is quite easy to use and can tolerate temperatures up to 572ºF or 300ºC.