Date of this Version
Published in 2021 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, University of Nebraska Extension Publication MP110
Sous vide cookery utilizes water baths held at precise temperatures to cook food and has increased in popularity in domestic and food service settings due to ease of use and consistent final cooking temperature of food. Some sous vide manufacturers’ cooking websites suggest cooking intact and nonintact beef products to internal temperatures as low as 115º F. To address the safety concerns of cooking non- intact beef products to temperatures below USDA- FSIS guidance temperatures, steaks were internally inoculated with a strain of generic E. coli and sous vide cooked to internal temperatures of 115, 125, 130, and 145º F and held for various times. A 5 log10 reduction of generic E. coli was achieved after sufficient holding times for all temperatures except 115º F, which only achieved 1.07 log10 reduction after 420 minutes of holding. These worst- case scenario results highlight the importance of using safe time and temperature combinations when sous vide cooking beef and warrant further investigation using pathogenic E. coli.