What a way to spoil an appetite!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Randy Tennison, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    My wife and I are enjoying our meal at Outback (my favorite place for a steak . . . consistent quality). The guy in the booth behind us orders a hamburger cooked medium. A couple of minutes later, the manager walks out, and asks who ordered the hamburger. The guy indicates that he did. She then proceeds to tell him, "I am required by the health department to inform you that eating undercooked meat can lead to intenstinal illnesses and more susceptible to other bacteria based diseases!"

    WTF? For a hamburger cooked medium. Sure, if it was rare, I can see this. And, why didn't we get the speech when my wife ordered the medium rare prime rib? Outback is also known for undercooking their meat (Medium Well at Outback is Medium at any other steakhouse).

    I know that they usually put this on their menu, but to have someone walk out and tell a customer that eating the hamburger can make them sick? Isn't the health department / county government going a little overboard!!!
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Whole cuts are usually fine. The reason they warn about hamburger is because it is easy to pick up pathogens from the grinding machine, especially if it is not cleaned often. Also, many restaurants get hamburger meat that is ground at an outside facility, which means they have no control over the quality, aside from purchasing from reputable places.
     
  3. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    There should have been no issue with a burger cooked medium. Medium, by definition, should be an internal temperature of 160 degrees, which is hot enough to kill an any bacteria that may be present.
    Bacteria (like E-coli) is only present on the outside of a piece of meat, and so it is killed by the surface heat of a grill as soon as it's put on there, which is why steaks are perfectly safe cooked rare and medium rare. If you take a primal of meat and grind it up however, what was the "surface" of the meat is now mixed in with everything else, so ground beef needs to be cooked through to 160 degrees to achieve the same degree of safety.

    All of that aside, as long as the restaurant is cooking "medium" the the actual standard definition of "medium", there should be no issues. However, you do state that Outback is notorious for undercooking their meat, so if that's the case, then there would have been some danger to the customer. To play it safe, Outback should just say that it will cook burgers to a minimum of medium well. I think it's great for restaurants to put some sort of warning in print in their menus, but I agree with you that some sort of verbal warning from the manager is a bit over the top.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    jesus, I ordered a steak medium rare at outback once and the thing came out cold, and red in the center. Nowhere NEAR my definition of medium rare.
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Other ways to spoil an appetite....

    #2. Exhume some graves

    #3. Watch the chef run out of the kitchen scream "oh Jesus Christ! Oh God the Horror!" and bolt out the front door.
     
  6. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    They let your wife order medium-rare? Here in Texas they wont let you go below medium. I always go for well done myself.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i just about never order my steaks by standard definition because every place does it different.

    these days i usually say something like, "i like it pink in the middle ... however you define that." sometimes the waiters look at me weird, but fuggit ... i want my steak cooked the way i like it.
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Surprised it's not the opposite. I'd think all those beef ranchers would get offended to have their product cooked to the consistency of astroturf.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    around here they overcook it. I order it medium, it comes out medium well to well done sometimes.

    The smaller(generally more expensive) places are really really really consistent and don't screw this up.

    Personally other than Prime Rib I won't go below medium and usually won't go above medium well. Well done steaks even at the pricey good places end up losing most if not all their flavor at that level.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    it varies region to region I know. Somewhere like say, Portland when I lived there I ate a rare, I learned to order medium rare when I lived in ND...
    I like a pretty rare steak but this thing was terrible, I had to send it back twice before it was corrected.

    hamburger though I can understand, I get hamburgers DONE.
     
  11. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    That's sick! Hank Hill won't stand for that, I tell you what! [​IMG]
     
  12. Abby_B

    Abby_B Supporting Actor

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    A lot of places these days seem to not let you order any cooked less than medium well...its all so arbitrary.
     
  13. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    We take the kids to Red Robin every now and then and they post the usual health warnings on their menu. The odd part is that they seriously undercook their burgers so they're in effect contributing to the problem. I order my burgers from them very well done and they still come out a little pink in the middle. I shudder to think what one of their mediums would look like.
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Oh boy! I can see us signing waivers in the future. Can you imagine walking into a restaurant and having to fill out tons of paperwork in order for the restaurant to protect itself from law suits? [​IMG]
     
  15. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Its not that they are mis-defining their terms, its that lower end restaurants like Red Robin, Outback and Lonestar dont have skilled and/or attentive people at the grill and they have no clue what is what, how done it is, etc. Its possible that you ordered well done and they just grabbed the wrong burger or it wasnt as done as they thought. Just because your well done burnger is pink doesnt mean their M-R burger is raw. Its a consistency issue.
     
  16. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I ate at Outback twice and the food was disgustingly terrible both times. I will never eat there again.

    When I go out I usually ask for my steaks and such to be cooked well(I used to say "burnt").

    When I get food from my butcher Im usually a bit more willing to eat more medium.
     

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