This is what you should do if the burger you got from a restaurant is pink in the middle after you bite it. The first thing that you shouldn’t do is immediately assume that the restaurant is in the wrong, they are careless, or don’t care about your welfare. Instead, examine the meat in the burger and see how dark or light the color of the meat is.
If it is dark pink or near red, it is raw if it is beef. This isn’t safe to eat. When the beef is really undercooked, it will have a shine to the flesh of the meat. However, if the meat looks light brown with a very small amount of pink, then this could be safe to eat. This is known as medium-rare, which has been cooked just enough that it is now safe to eat.
For chicken, if it is pink in a burger, the safe bet is just to assume that it is undercooked. Chicken starts out pink and shouldn’t end in pink after it is ‘cooked’.
With pork it is a little tricky. If most of the meat looks whiter with only a little pink, then it is medium-rare and safe to eat, as long as there isn’t any red or dark pink.
Also, another thing to look at is to see if there is any hard white fat deposits in the grounded meat in the burger. Seeing white fats in between the grounded meat, no matter what type of meat it is, is a sure sign that the pink color is an indication of raw unsafe to eat meat.
The reason for this is that the safe temperature internally in the burger has to reach atleast 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe to eat. If it does not, then there is a risk of food poisoning. Fat melts and turns into the juicy substance known as oil in burger meat at temperatures between 130 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
A burger with pink meat and fat that still isn’t cooked in it is clearly raw and undercooked. Don’t eat the burger any longer.
If any of these hit the colors of pink that were mentioned for being raw or undercooked in a burger, then take it back to the restaurant or the person in charge and show it to them. Usually they will dump the food, apologize, and cook it better the next time around. They might even make the next visit free.
Restaurants do not want to get anyone sick of of their foods, as it will hurt their business. This means that if for some reason you end up with undercooked or raw meat in your burger, there probably is another reason why it happened besides thinking that it was done out of carelessness of the company.
One thing to consider is if the burger was asked to be cooked the way it looks (pink in the middle) without knowing it. If an individual asks for a burger at a restaurant to be made medium, medium-rare, or rare, then they are asking for a burger that has pink meat to some degree.
However, if there wasn’t any question to ask what quality of burger to make by the restaurant (“Do you want rare, medium, or well done?”), then see if it is common for burgers of that type in the restaurant to be cooked that way. If it is not for that type of burger, then there could possibly have been something wrong with the restaurant’s cooking equipment at the time of cooking. It may be malfunctioning and dropping from its usual temperature, which may be why the burger is pink and doesn’t look like the usual.
Definitely notify the restaurant’s management about it, and if it persists, contact the local health department, as it is clear that health violations are going on in the restaurant.
However, the only way to have a case is for a member of the health department to show up to the restaurant and do a temperature check of their meats after they are cooked, and see the temperature of the burger patties while they are cooking.
Restaurants are not allowed to give out raw hamburgers to their guests, but accidents do happen unfortunately. If it isn’t an equipment problem that is causing the patties in the burgers to come out raw, then it could be an employee problem.
Simply notify the restaurant of the time and day that the burger was ordered and usually with that information, the restaurant can find out who was cooking the hamburger patties at that time, and talk to the employee. The restaurant will usually give that individual more training if they suspect it wasn’t done in carelessness, and it may fix it from happening in the future.
Also, sometimes employees aren’t paying attention when making their burgers and will forget to do important steps while they are cooking the patties.
For example, they might forget to hit a button to heat the burger patties in a panini press grill, or simply hit the button for warming instead of cooking on the grill. Of course, if they hit the button for warming, then the burgers will come out undercooked, raw, and red or pink in the middle.
When restaurants make their food, they go off of the internal temperature of the burger patties to see if they are good, not the look of the burger patties, regardless if they are red or pink. This doesn’t mean that restaurants disregard the presentation of their burgers, but strictly speaking, a burger is safe to eat after it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit or more internally.
Many restaurants will avoid making their burgers with a little pink in the middle, even if it is safe to eat, just to avoid the hassle of a customer that wouldn’t know about these safe to eat temperatures.
If for some reason you come down from food poisoning from any food from any restaurant, go to the emergency room immediately. Make sure to contact the local health department as well to make them aware of the restaurant and the incident.