Is brisket safe to eat at 165? (Effects of temperature)
In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Is brisket safe to eat at 165?” We also will discuss how temperature affects brisket and how to avoid foodborne illnesses.
Is brisket safe to eat at 165?
Brisket, a cut from the lower chest comprising superficial pectoral and deep pectoral muscles, is safe to consume at 165°F (74°C). Despite its toughness, as it supports about 60% of an animal’s body weight, brisket is often undervalued.
To achieve tenderness, the connective tissue needs to be broken down through extended cooking times. The meat industry commonly employs sous vide cooking for this purpose. (1)
What is the sous vide technique?
Sous vide involves vacuum-sealing the food in a plastic pouch and submerging it in a water bath to ensure even cooking and moisture retention. Sous vide is a commonly used technique. It involves carefully controlling the temperature of the water bath, which typically ranges from 131 to 176°F (55-80°C), for a period ranging from 6 to 48 hours.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cooking temperature should never be below 140°F (60°C). By maintaining this minimum temperature, we can effectively minimize the risk of harmful bacteria growth in the meat. (1)
Does the pink color indicate medium-cooked brisket?
The pink hue in brisket signifies a medium level of doneness. As the meat’s temperature rises, its muscle gradually transforms from translucent to opaque, transitioning from red to pink, and finally turning brown. At the same time, the color of the brisket juices undergoes a transformation from pink to a pale amber shade.
This change in hemoglobin and myoglobin acts as a significant indicator of the level of doneness for the beef. Consumers gauge the degree of brisket doneness based on these observed color shifts, ranging from ‘very rare’ to ‘well–well done.’ (2)
How does temperature affect brisket?
Native red myoglobin in beef brisket experiences denaturation within the temperature range of 65±80°C, with roughly 70% of it remaining intact at 73°C. Interestingly, the red color in cooked meat tends to diminish at lower temperatures because myoglobin becomes concealed by the aggregation or co-precipitation of other myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins.
Conversely, as the meat’s internal temperature increases, the brown color becomes more pronounced. The process of protein denaturation appears to be largely finalized when samples are heated to 80°C.
Significantly, observable color changes become evident within the intervals of 55°C to 65°C, 65°C to 75°C, and 75°C to 80°C, with substantial shifts in color in beef steaks primarily occurring at temperatures above 75°C, coinciding with protein denaturation. (3)
What are the potential risks of eating undercooked brisket?
The primary concern associated with the consumption of undercooked beef is the heightened risk of foodborne illnesses. Various bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tracts of farm animals, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Escherichia coli O157:H7, are notorious for causing these illnesses.
As the meat progresses through subsequent processing stages, it can carry these bacteria, which then have the potential to infect processing equipment. Consequently, this equipment becomes a persistent source of contamination for future meat products. (4)
Moreover, the consumption of meat that is not cooked thoroughly increases the risk of exposure to microorganisms resistant to antimicrobial treatments.
These microorganisms may not cause immediate symptoms but can transfer their resistance genes to other bacteria in the human body. This has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of antibiotics when they are needed in the future. (5)
What are the symptoms of eating contaminated brisket?
Consuming tainted brisket can result in illness. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. These adverse reactions occur when food is compromised by either chemical substances or microorganisms and the toxins they produce. (6)
How to avoid foodborne illnesses?
To ensure food safety cook all meat to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (63 °C). This temperature effectively eliminates any bacteria that may be present.
To prevent contamination, practice good hygiene habits. Use a dedicated cutting board or plate solely for handling raw meat and reserve a separate one for non-cooked items like fruits and bread. After handling each meat item, thoroughly clean your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops using hot, soapy water. (7)
In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Is brisket safe to eat at 165?” We also discussed how temperature affects brisket and how to avoid foodborne illnesses.
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OSORNIO, MM López et al. Beef’s optimum internal cooking temperature as seen by consumers from different countries using survival analysis statistics. Food Quality and Preference, v. 19, n. 1, p. 12-20, 2008.
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