The FSA Board has agreed that the preparation and service of rare burgers in food outlets is unacceptable unless a validated and verified food safety management plan is in place.

The FSA’s long-standing advice to consumers that they should cook burgers thoroughly to kill any bugs that may be present is unchanged.

The FSA Board had been asked to consider a range of controls businesses should make sure are in place if they are serving rare burgers. These include sourcing meat only from establishments which have specific controls in place to minimise the risk of contamination of meat intended to be eaten raw or lightly cooked and providing consumer advice on menus regarding the additional risk from burgers which aren’t thoroughly cooked.

The FSA Board voted to support the new approach but with the following requirements:

  • Businesses wanting to serve burgers rare pre-notify their local authority
  • The Board is given reassurances on the controls that suppliers of mince intended for consumption rare or lightly cooked in burgers have in place
  • Effective consumer advisory statements will be required on menus where rare burgers are served
  • The Board agreed the FSA should take a lead ensuring these statements are consistent
  • An FSA communications plan is implemented to explain the risks and controls to the public infection rates continue to be kept under close review and any changes brought to the attention of the Board.

The approach agreed by the Board will improve consumer protection by making it clear to businesses the circumstances under which service of rare burgers is acceptable and the stringent controls that must apply, and supporting local authority enforcement where controls are not in place or are not applied consistently.

The Food Standards Agency has today published details of a proposed new approach to the preparation and service of rare (pink)

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