Don't burger up your bank holiday: Five million of us could be "at risk" from rare burgers on home-cooked barbecues this bank holiday

Francesca Washtell
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Remember not to leave any pink meat in the middle (Source: Getty)

You're probably already aware that today is National Burger Day, but if you're planning to celebrate with a barbecue over the weekend you might want to heed this stark warning.

According to the Food Standards Agency, more than five million Britons will be at risk of food poisoning from rare – i.e. pink in the middle – burgers over the bank holiday.

Although 71 per cent of people in an FSA poll said they were concerned about food poisoning, over a third (36 per cent) said they would eat a burger that isn't fully cooked through.

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When cooking at home, the organisation also found that 81 per cent of amateur barbecuers admit to undercooking their burgers.

The concerned FSA has offered those in charge the advice that they cook burgers all the way through, defined by the burger in question being steaming hot throughout, no pink meat in the middle and the juices running clear.

"It's important that people realise that burgers are not like steak," Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said.

Read more: The eight best burgers in London

"Harmful bacteria can be carried on the surface of cuts of meat. When a rare steak is seared these bacteria are killed, but burger meat is minced so bacteria from the surface of the raw meat gets mixed all the way through the burger. These bacteria can remain alive on the inside, unless the burger is fully cooked through, no matter how good quality and expensive the meat."

There you go, folks. Don't burger up your bank holiday.

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