Is it safe to eat an undercooked turkey burger?

The short answer is no. Eating an undercooked turkey burger can be dangerous and lead to foodborne illness.

Here’s why:

The dangers of undercooked turkey:

  • Salmonella: This is the most common risk associated with undercooked turkey. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.
  • Campylobacter: Another bacteria that can cause food poisoning, Campylobacter can also lead to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. It can also cause more serious complications like Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological disorder.
  • E. coli: This bacteria can cause a range of symptoms, from mild diarrhea to severe kidney failure. In rare cases, it can even be fatal.
  • Listeria: This bacteria is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems. It can cause a serious infection called listeriosis, which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or even death.

How to safely cook a turkey burger:

To avoid these risks, it’s crucial to cook your turkey burger thoroughly. The USDA recommends cooking ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Here are some additional tips for safe turkey burger preparation:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw turkey.
  • Use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked turkey.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate utensils or surfaces that have come into contact with raw turkey.
  • Cook the turkey burger until it is no longer pink in the center.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Refrigerate leftover turkey burgers within 2 hours of cooking.

What happens if you eat undercooked ground turkey?

If you accidentally eat an undercooked turkey burger, don’t panic. Most people who eat undercooked turkey don’t get sick. However, if you start experiencing any symptoms of food poisoning, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or fever, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Additional resources:

While turkey burgers are a delicious and healthy option, it’s important to cook them thoroughly to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your turkey burger is safe to eat and enjoy.

Besides normal stuffing, your turkey is stuffed with salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli, too

what happens if you eat undercooked ground turkey

Tomorrow, millions of Americans will do something they only do once a year: cook a turkey. Since cooking isn’t something most people do on a daily basis, even seasoned chefs occasionally make mistakes when cooking, such as forgetting to remove the plastic-wrapped giblets from the turkey’s cavity, overcooking and scorching the bird, or, worst of all, undercooking it.

Why is undercooking a turkey such a problem? Notably, it is far easier to undercook a turkey than, say, smaller, more often-cooked poultry like chicken or duck. And while overcooking means the turkey may be partly inedible, it also means that any residual pathogens — meaning bacteria or the like — have undoubtedly died. Not so with undercooking. If you fail to prepare your turkey correctly, you may wind up ingesting some very scary pathogens. In 2018, one person died and over a hundred became ill due to a salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey.

“Some of the juices from the raw meat may potentially cause food-borne illnesses or other bacterial issues.”

Salmonella certainly isnt the only concern. Raw turkey meat writhes with all sorts of pestilence, so safe preparation is not just a good idea, but a necessity to ensure everyone at the Thanksgiving table stays safe.

The pathogens that can infect a turkey are listed below, along with information on how to prevent them and which ones can be avoided if you properly clean and cook your Thanksgiving turkey. A general piece of advice is to have a decent meat thermometer because many of these can be avoided by cooking a turkey to a safe minimum temperature throughout its flesh.

E. coli

The bacteria Escherichia coli is better known by its short name, E. coli. If you are an animal or a human, the chances are that E. coli live inside your intestines. Dont worry, though: Most strains of E. coli are harmless, or at least cause nothing more than an upset stomach and mild diarrhea. If you accidentally ingest E. coli from undercooked turkey, however, and it is a dangerous strain like E. coli O157:H7, you could be in trouble. Symptoms of severe E. coli infections include severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 400 people die every year from salmonella poisoning, while an estimated 26,000 are hospitalized. Salmonella is passed by birds from one to the other in countless ways, from their nesting to their feeding habits.

If youre talking about turkeys, however, there is a specific salmonella strain that is most common: the Reading strain. When a Salmonella Reading outbreak occurred in 2018, it led to one fatality and 132 hospitalizations, with experts suspecting that it was accidentally introduced to the turkey supply chain and spread nationally before being identified by Minnesota officials.

Like E. coli, salmonella includes gastric symptoms like severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Infected patients may also experience bloody stools, chills and fevers. However, cooking your turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit should make it safe from salmonella. There have been recent salmonella outbreaks from California (where it was linked to raw salmon) to Israel (where it was linked to chocolates).


From Illinois to New York City, campylobacter outbreaks happen all the time; the CDC refers to campylobacter as “the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal illness in the United States.” The term campylobacter refers both to the disease itself and the bacterium which causes it. It leads to gastroenteritis, nausea, diarrhea, fevers and other ailments in people that can ultimately be fatal. Campylobacter is often shed through the feces of infected animals like turkey, but can exist in the meat as well.

The CDC refers to campylobacter as “the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal illness in the United States.”

While the symptoms of campylobacter infection (as with the other illnesses discussed here) are primarily gastric (nausea, cramps, diarrhea), they can also become far more severe: Temporary paralysis, arthritis and even spreading to the bloodstream to cause more serious infections. Fortunately, cooking your turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit should kill any wayward bugs in your meat.

How to properly prepare your turkey

The phrase “cook your turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit” has been appearing frequently, as you may have noticed. It seems that temperature does the trick when it comes to keeping your turkey safe, regardless of whether it has one of these three pathogens or something else entirely.

Yet cooking your turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is not always enough. For the best results, defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, as noted by Salon columnist Michael La Corte. This is because the temperature is regulated, the defrosting process can be gradual and consistent, and any leftover liquids can be collected in a large roasting rack, sheet tray, or other location where the turkey will be cooked. For every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey you have, you should allow it to defrost for 24 hours. If you opt to use the widely used technique of submerging the turkey in cold water, make sure to replace the water every half an hour, preserve the original covering, and make sure the naked turkey isn’t left to sit in your sink.

“A portion of the uncooked meat’s fluids could potentially result in food-borne infections or other bacterial problems,” La Corte says. “Lets try to stay as far away from those as possible. “.

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. Rutgers-Newark awarded him a master’s degree in history in 2012, and the Metcalf Institute granted him a fellowship in science journalism in 2022.

Can you eat undercooked turkey mince?


Can you eat slightly undercooked ground turkey?

“Some of the ‘juices’ from the raw meat may potentially cause food-borne illnesses or other bacterial issues.” Salmonella certainly isn’t the only concern. All kinds of pestilence writhes within raw turkey meat, and safe preparation isn’t just a good idea — it’s a must to keep everyone at the Thanksgiving table safe.

Is it OK if ground turkey is a little pink?

and is done to family preference, all the meat — including any that remains pink — is safe to eat.

What happens if you eat slightly bad ground turkey?

Eating spoiled ground turkey may lead to foodborne illness, with symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. People with weakened immune systems may experience more severe symptoms. If you’re hesitant about your ground turkey, it’s best to throw it out and play it safe.

How long after eating undercooked turkey would you be sick?

Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs or egg products or by drinking unpasteurized milk. The incubation period — the time between exposure and illness — can be 6 hours to 6 days. Often, people who have salmonella infection think they have the stomach flu.

What happens if you eat undercooked Turkey?

All of these are extremely harmful to health. If they enter your body by means of consuming undercooked turkey, you can have health effects like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and some cases, can be fatal too. Why Does Turkey Remain Undercooked?

What are the health benefits of ground turkey?

Ground turkey has multiple benefits. It is a good source of minerals, and B vitamins, rich in proteins, low in fat and it is lower in calories than common turkey.

What happens if you eat bad ground turkey?

Sometimes, you might get away with it, but other times, not so much. When you consume bad ground turkey, you’re introducing potentially harmful bacteria into your system. These bacteria can throw a wrench into your digestive process, leading to some pretty unpleasant symptoms. One of the most common issues is food poisoning.

What if a Turkey is overcooked & undercooked?

Overcooked turkey is a common Thanksgiving pitfall, but undercooked turkey may be an even bigger horror show. Luckily, you can fix it fairly quickly. Don’t panic! The perfect bird isn’t out of your reach just yet. Carve off the legs and breasts, keeping them as intact as you can.

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