The reason rare steak is generally safe to eat

The next time you go out for a good filet mignon, is it safe to order it still rare? Yes, for the most part. According to Delighted Cooking, most bacteria in a steak accumulates on its outer surface. While some may have penetrated the inside of the meat, it’s unlikely to be enough to make you sick. ABC Science points out that the meat in most steaks is too dense for bacteria to get deep enough inside.

It should be noted that the USDA still does not recommend eating rare steaks. Certified Angus Beef says a steak is considered rare when cooked to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. This is 20 degrees below USDA recommendations, so it’s still not considered safe to consume. It’s also important to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your meat for the most accurate results.

It’s even riskier to eat hamburgers or other ground beef that’s been cooked rare (via Today). When red meat is ground, surface bacteria can spread everywhere. The muscle fibers are also broken down and the meat is not as dense. This allows bacteria to enter inside a patty. For this reason, burgers should always be fully cooked before serving.

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