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NC now allows rare burgers!

The NC Commission for Public Health has adopted new rules that now allow restaurants in the state to legally serve burgers rare. I think the new rules go into effect on July 1. Here is an article from the Wilmington Sun about the change:


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  1. AWESOME!!! Common Sense made it's way into the law? amazing.

    1. Best food news I've heard in a long time. No more overcooked burgers!!!!!!!!!

      1. I had heard that this was happening this summer. Something on schedule???!! Amazing. But seriously, that is wonderful news for this still-mooin' burger lover!

        1. Hooray!

          I'm all for public safety, but the burger policy was just beyond ridiculous. We might need to carry copies of the change to back up the legality our burger orders!

          1. On a related note, I had a really good, properly cooked medium burger at G2B in Durham last week. Had a charcoal flavor to it as well.

            1. Hopefully the state of South Carolina will smarten up & do the same.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jerzeegirl

                Jerzee, I double-checked with South Carolina this afternoon just to make sure. South Carolina already has the menu-disclaimer option. If you are over 18 and the restaurant has a reminder that eating undercooked meat is a health risk, you can order a burger rare or medium-rare, even though the state's standard is 155 degrees.

                1. re: kathleen purvis

                  Thanks, Kathleen. I'll definitely be checking that out on our next visit to SC.

              2. A relatively large number of restaurants in Charlotte have been ignoring this rule for some time.

                2 Replies
                1. re: southernitalian

                  most places around Greenville SC and Asheville are downright huffy if you ask. (notable exceptions of Blockhouse and Bohemian)

                  1. re: danna


                    Here all the restaurants seem to take the Potemkin Village approach: they ask you how you want your burger cooked and bring you a well done burger, regardless of what you asked for.

                2. Just read on the N&O website that the rule change is expected to take effect in September. This change is one of many as the state adopts federal food handling guidelines, including a requirement to wear gloves when handling ready-to-eat food.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mpjmph

                    I just read that article too.

                    But this part confused me:
                    "the rule prohibits serving undercooked or raw foods to children."

                    Does this mean that my kids won't be able to order rare burgers - or sushi, for that matter?

                    1. re: cackalackie

                      That's correct on the rare burgers. Sushi is a different kind of protein and is handled differently. And mpjmph is correct (my stories run in both The Observer and the News & Observer as part of a shared content arrangement).

                      While the burger controversy is getting the most attention, what's actually happening is a sweeping change in the N.C. food code that will affect a lot of things in food handling. My food-safety sources are very excited about it.

                      Moving to adopting a form of the FDA food code is something that many health experts have wanted here for a long time. It will simplify changing to adapt to new science, and it also gives N.C. access to the latest research.

                      By basing our state code on the federal code, our state health officials also become a part of the dialogue when the federal code is updated every two years.

                      1. re: cackalackie

                        So does that mean I can order a rare burger for my kid, then hand it to her, since it's really "my" burger and was served to me? Will the restaurant call the food cops on me? I get the CYA aspect, but in practicality it's meaningless. I'm sure if your kid wants to eat a rare burger there won't be any problem.

                    2. That's good news. I have family in SC and they had the "well done ground meat rule." I remember going for a burger with my dad and him ordering the burger as rare as you could make it . I asked him about his order. He was usually a MR eater and he explained the rule.

                      Glad to read from KP above that the rule has changed.