Post # 1
Hi all! I’ve been doing research online, and I know ground meat has to be cooked medium well-well done. But I’ve also read that steaks can be cooked medium because listeria would only be found on the outside of the meat.
What do you guys think?
I’m making beef wellington for Christmas Eve, and I was planning on preparing the meat medium. Now I’m wondering if I should cook my piece a little more in the oven.
I am not willing to take even the slightest risks, but if it’s really not necessary to eat steak, duck, and venison more than medium then I’d prefer not to eat my meat overcooked.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Evie19: Make it how you would normally so your guests can enjoy it. But personally wild game is one area I would err on the side of caution and make sure my food was well done. The beef I think you are totally fine since it’s most likely coming from the store. Duck is poultry so it should be cooked to proper temp either way. Venison is usually wild game (unless you are lucky enough to have a specialty market nearby) and as such I would err on the side of caution and slice off my portion and continue to cook it until it’s well done. But venison is pretty nasty and chewy well done so I would probably skip it entirely while pregnant just to be safe.
Post # 4
FWIW, I would actually worry more about supermarket beef than I would about the venison. Wild game is probably cleaner and healthier (as well as free from antibiotic residues, synthetic hormones, etc.) than most factory-farmed commercial beef in this country. Unless it’s farmer’s market beef or you have some way to be absolutely certain of where it was sourced and what kind of conditions it was raised under, there is a much greater chance that the beef could be contaminated than the venison. Don’t let the supermarket packaging fool you – “familiar” does not necessarily equal “safe.” The cow came from a feedlot and got processed in a crowded slaughterhouse, the deer probably came from a small herd and got field-dressed in the open air by a hunter. Neither is a sterile environment – food itself is not sterile – but the venison stands a way lower chance of coming into contact with the kinds of pathogens you’re worried about.
Post # 5
Listeria really isn’t that big of a problem if food is handled properly. Risidual heat will kill most harmful bacteria.
As a rule, I cook my food and food for other people to be enjoyable. I don’t look at a steak and go, “Gasp! I need to cook this so it’s X degrees more so [enter bacteria here] dies a horrible flaming death!”
If you worry and fret over food, you’ll ruin it.
Keep your work area clean and never use a utensil you use to touch raw meat to touch cooked meat. Let beef and steaks rest for five minutes before serving. A “proper” steak should be done medium. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temp of 160 regardless of how it’s used. Depending on how duck is cooked depends on the internal temp, but generally above 160 as well.
Unless you’re buying questionable meat, don’t worry too much about harmful bacteria or listeria. Unless the packaging was contaminated (This is caught pretty quickly), it’s safe to assume that your meat is safe enough for consumption once cooked to the proper temp and not overcooked.
Meat companies probably don’t care about their cattle being handled properly, but they do care about their consumers not getting sick. Contaminated meat = No consumers = No profits. So, if there is an outbreak of something they’ll catch it quickly, and proper in-home handling will reduce any bacterial risk as well.
Post # 6
@beachbride1216: Thanks! We planned to go to a nice French place in New York and I planned on ordering either duck or venison (my favorite meats) but I’ll just abstain! I’m not complaining, this baby is worth it. 🙂
Post # 7
@KCKnd2: Thanks that’s good to know. I’ll keep the wellington cooked to medium then.
@Hyperventilate: Thanks, is duck medium at 160 degrees?
Post # 8
@Evie19: 160 will be medium-well ish. It will be cooked through with a slightly pinkish center, so don’t be worried if you bite into it and see pink. It’s thoroughly cooked.
Post # 9
I think steaks should be cooked to medium because of the (very slight) risk of toxoplasmosis, which is killed at 145 degrees. DH and I are going to a steakhouse for our joint birthday celebration next month, and I was worried that I’d have to order the chicken or something – because I’m not wasting forty bucks on a well-done steak – but the consensus seems to be that medium is perfectly fine. So just stick a thermometer in it, and as long as you hit 145, you’re good to go!
I’m not sure about the duck or venison, though. I’d guess venison could be handled like steak, where medium would be ok, and duck should be treated like chicken, which should be 160 degrees.