What happens when large pieces of sirloin, that have E. coli 0157:H7 on the surface, are mechanically tenderized, sliced into steaks of varying thicknesses, and grilled over an open flame from a gas grill? That’s what Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists set out to test.
Steaks were grilled on both sides and cooked to an internal temperature of 130 degrees F (rare) or 140 degrees F (medium rare). The hotter the internal temperature and the more “done” the steak, the better, of course. But the scientists did find that if a relatively low level of E. coli is distributed throughout a blade-tenderized top sirloin steak, cooking the steak properly on a gas grill did appear to eliminate the microbe.
Remember, once you cook your steak properly, you still need to practice food safety. Don’t keep it out at room temperature for too long. After an hour, for example, package any leftovers and keep them in the refrigerator for the next day.
[Various studies by the ARS on E.coli and sirloin were published in the Journal of Food Protection in 2008 and 2009]
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