Lick's Homeburgers & Ice Cream - pasturization

By: Lick's Homeburgers  09-12-2011
Keywords: Beef, Hamburger, Pasteurization

Steam Pasteurization

"We know hamburger, and if you know what you are doing, you have no right ignoring progress when it involves food safety - especially when it's a better tasting product, as well."
Denise Meehan, Lick's President

Lick's is the only burger chain in North America to our knowledge that insists upon Steam Pasteurization of beef to ensure your safety and health. Here are a few Questions and Answers about the process, why we insist upon it, and why you should too.

I've heard of pasteurized milk all my life but what is this beef pasteurization process?

It is simply a method of eliminating harmful bacteria in food products that could cause illness, in this case beef, by killing it with heat. In recent years, there have been isolated cases of something the media refers to as "Hamburger Disease," which is scientifically known as E.coli0157:H7. Pasteurization specifically kills this as well as several other bacteria you may have heard of, including Salmonella and Listeria.

What exactly is E. Coli?

It's a naturally occurring internal bacteria in livestock that can end up on the surface of beef as it is being processed. If ingested, it can cause serious health problems in the elderly, children or those with deficient immune systems, but the danger is eliminated if the temperature of the meat is raised to 160 F (72 C) or more in the cooking process. The bacteria is quickly destroyed on a steak as soon as it starts cooking on the grill because the heat is well above 160 F. Hamburger meat, however, presents a different challenge. If bacteria is not eliminated on the surface of the raw meat before being ground into hamburger, the E. Coli is churned throughout the meat and it is more difficult to "sear" it away during cooking. That is why health officials advise you to cook hamburgers to the well done stage.

Has Lick's ever had an E.Coli problem?

Never. Nor has had any other bacteria-related problem. Lick's has always cooked its Homeburger and other products above the 160 F "safe" temperature.

Could you be more specific about the pasteurization process?

In a special patented process, whole sides of beef are steamed at a temperature of 195 F for eight seconds, then quickly washed in cold water before being ground into hamburger meat. This eliminates the bacteria before the meat is ground up. From that point on to the time it is boxed at the processing plant and delivered to a Lick's store, it undergoes rigorous state-of-the-art sanitary processes that further ensure its safety, quality and consistency.

Keywords: Beef, Beef Pasteurization, Hamburger, Pasteurization, Steam Pasteurization,

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Toronto 654 Danforth AvenueToronto 720 Spadina Avenue Toronto 900 Warden Avenue Toronto, 860 York Mills Beaches, 1960 Queen St. Etobicoke 1585 The QueesnwayScarborough, 2383 Kingston Rd.Scarborough, 43 Milner Rd.Whitby. Mississauga, 5029 Hurontario St.Mississauga - 2969 Argentia Road Oakville, 2420 Lakeshore Rd.W.