Can you eat Pink Ground Beef?

In this brief text we will answer the question, “Can you eat pink ground beef?”, and discuss other questions such as can cooked ground beef still be pink in colour, storage, thawing methods, and more!

Can you eat pink ground beef?

Yes, it is safe to eat pink ground beef only if it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F which is necessary to kill the harmful bacteria.

Why is ground beef still pink in colour after reaching 160F?

The beef may seem pink despite being cooked to 160°F. The presence of other foods such as bacon, ham, or veggies causes this occurrence. While nitrites are present in bacon and ham, vegetables such as carrots or cabbage can be transformed into nitrites after cooking which then protects beef against browning

Is it possible to get food poisoning from pink ground beef?

Eating a pink-in-the-middle burger could result in food poisoning. If hazardous bacteria are present in the centre of an uncooked burger, they may survive and make you sick, this is why it is advised that ground beef be cooked at 160°F to kill all those bacteria.

Is it safe to eat a pink hamburger?

Yes. You can surely eat a pink hamburger because the colour is not a reliable sign of food safety. It’s important to note, though, that the burger is only edible when the interior temperature reaches 160°F. If you encounter a pink patty, don’t forget to check the temperature of your hamburger.

Can cooked ground beef still be pink in colour?

Even after you have cooked ground beef safely, it still might be pink on the inside. The pink tint is caused by a reaction between the heat of the oven and myoglobin, which results in red or pink colour. It can also happen if nitrite-containing vegetables are cooked alongside the meat.

For how long should you cook ground beef?

You should cook ground beef for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no pink appears in the centre of the ground beef pieces. The ground beef is done when all of the chunks are browned, but if you like a crispy outside, continue frying the meat.

Is it safe to eat pink ground beef?

If the ground beef is still pink after cooking, it is safe to eat. However, it is very important that you make sure that it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, which is important to destroy the harmful bacteria. For starters, even after being cooked to a safe temperature, ground meat can retain its pink colour, indicating that it is free from hazardous bacteria.

What will happen if you eat raw ground beef?

If you eat raw ground beef you may experience gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhoea, stomach pains, vomiting, fever, and chills. This can happen anywhere between 6-24 hours after eating raw meat, and it can continue anywhere from 24 hours to several days, depending on the bacterium.

How can you tell if ground beef is bad?

You can tell if the ground beef has gone bad through the following ways


Although multiple factors affect the colour of ground beef. However, if the outside of the ground beef has turned dark or grey, it is starting to rot and should be discarded.


It’s most likely gone bad if your ground beef has a sticky or slimy texture either raw or cooked.


The smell of fresh ground beef is barely detectable, whereas decaying meat has a sour, rotten aroma. It’s no longer safe to eat once it’s gone bad. Increased formation of spoilage bacteria such as Lactobacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp. causes the aroma to change, which can also impact the flavour.

Expiry date

Additional criteria for assessing whether your ground beef is good to eat, include the sell-by and expiration dates. Ground beef should not be eaten past its expiration date unless it has been frozen, in which case it can be kept for up to four months.

What is the best way to store ground beef?

Always use fresh ground beef for the best preservation results. Due to oxygen exposure, fresh ground beef will appear bright red on the outside and brown on the interior. To avoid the growth of hazardous bacteria, cook it as soon as you get it home. However, if you don’t plan on cooking it right away, you can keep it refrigerated or frozen and utilise it within the timeframes listed in the table below.

Raw ground beef1-2 days in the fridge 3-4 months in the freezer
Cooked ground beef 3-4 days in the fridge 4 months in the freezer 

What is the best way to thaw ground beef?

Thawing ground beef is not a complicated job. To discover four different ways to thaw ground beef on your own time, click here.


In this brief text, we answered the question, “Can you eat pink ground beef?”, and we also  discussed other questions such as can cooked ground beef still be pink in colour, storage, thawing methods, and more!


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.