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HHS HealthBeat (April 2, 2013)

What’s the beef?

Hamburgers on a grill.

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Cook Thoroughly

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says meat and poultry account for nearly a quarter of all foodborne illnesses. Beef, what some may think is a common cause of foodborne illness, accounted for only a slice of that.

Dr. John Painter is an epidemiologist at the CDC.

“Beef is now less contaminated to start with, and most fast food restaurants are cooking burgers well so, beef was the source of fewer than seven percent of food-related illnesses and fewer than four percent of deaths.”

You still need to be careful to cook beef, especially ground beef, thoroughly. If not completely cooked, contaminated meat and poultry can cause diarrhea.

“And it can be prevented through thoroughly cleaning hands, knives, cutting boards, counters, and sinks after working with raw meat and poultry.”

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: April 1, 2013