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Draft guidance for consultation: Less than thoroughly cooked beef burgers

Annex 1 - Glossary

Glossary of terms used in the guidance.

Last updated: 27 January 2022


Approved establishment

Many wholesale food businesses which produce and supply food of animal origin, such as slaughter houses and cutting plants, require approval under Regulation EC (No.) 853/2004 by either the LA or the FSA, depending on the type of establishment. If an approved establishment is producing minced beef or burgers which are to be less than thoroughly cooked, they must be specifically approved to supply these products.


Bacterial count    

Number of bacterial cells.


For the purpose of this guidance, a meat preparation consisting of minced beef and additional ingredients. In this guidance the term burger also covers patty, which is minced beef which has been formed into a burger shape to which less than 1% salt has been added.



The body of an animal after slaughter and dressing.

Caterer or catering business

A food business directly preparing, cooking and supplying food to the final consumer such as restaurants, burger outlets and pubs.

Challenge testing

The deliberate addition of specific microorganisms to monitor their growth and/or survival in a product.

Competent Authority (CA)

An authority to which the Central Competent Authority (CCA) has delegated competence (local authorities).

Critical Control Point (CCP)

Step that can be achieved to prevent, eliminate or reduce a hazard to an acceptable level.

Critical limit

The measurement that is acceptable for product safety (for example, temperature or time).


Escherichia coli (E. coli)

A type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines. A few types can cause serious illness and it is usually spread by inadequate cooking or cross contamination.


Food business operator (FBO)

The natural or legal person responsible for ensuring that the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.

Food Safety Management System (FSMS)

A systematic approach to controlling food safety hazards within a food business to ensure that the food produced is safe to eat.



Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a way of managing food safety hazards. Food safety management systems should be based on HACCP principles.


Something which may cause harm. Food safety hazards can be biological, chemical or physical.


Less than thoroughly cooked beef burger

A cooked beef burger which has not achieved the time/ temperature combination of 70°C for two minutes, or equivalent all the way through. 

Logarithmic reduction (log reduction)

For the purpose of this guidance, log reduction is a way of measuring the decrease in bacterial numbers due to some treatment, such as a cooking procedure. A detailed explanation on how log reduction works is available in Annex 3.


Meat preparation

Fresh meat, including meat that has been reduced to fragments, which has had foodstuffs, seasonings or additives added to it, or fresh meat which has undergone processes insufficient to modify the internal muscle fibre structure of the meat and thus to eliminate the characteristics of fresh meat.

Minced meat

Boned meat that has been minced into fragments and contains less than 1% salt.


A pre arranged programme of checks (observations or measurements) of critical and/or ‘legal’ limits to check whether control measures are in danger of failing, and which determine the need to take corrective actions.



Microorganism that causes disease.


For the purpose of this guidance, it is boned meat that has been minced or otherwise reduced into fragments, compressed and given a flat shape and contains less than 1% salt. When the term beef burger or burger is used in this guidance it would include patties.

Primary authority (PA)

A legal partnership that a business forms with one local authority, which then provides assured and tailored advice on complying with environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations that other local regulators must respect.

Probe thermometer

Thermometer designed to be inserted into food to test core/internal temperature.



Product that has not been subjected to any cooking.


Product subjected to some cooking, but where part of the product will not reach a sufficient temperature or is not cooked for a sufficient time to cook the product throughout.

Ready to eat food

Ready to eat food is food that will not be cooked or reheated before serving. This includes salads, cooked meats, smoked fish, desserts, sandwiches, cheese and food that has been cooked in advance to serve cold.


The chance of somebody being harmed by a hazard, and how serious the harm could be.



A group of bacteria commonly found in human and animal intestines. It can cause food poisoning and is usually spread by inadequate cooking or cross contamination.

Sear and shave

The outside surfaces of whole muscle cuts of meat are briefly heated to a high temperature (seared), while leaving inner parts uncooked. The seared surfaces are then hygienically removed leaving the (raw) inner tissues to be used in the production of raw/rare products.


An establishment used for slaughtering and dressing animals, the meat of which is intended for human consumption.

Sous vide

French term meaning “under vacuum”. This is low temperature cooking where the food is sealed in a gas impermeable bag under a vacuum. The food is then cooked in the bag (usually in a water bath) for a defined time at a defined temperature.

Steam surface treatment

Treatment applied to carcasses which involves the use of steam at a specific temperature for a minimum time period to reduce the potential microbial load on the surface.

Steam vacuum

The use of hot water or steam to loosen visible contamination from meat carcases and destroy certain bacteria, followed by the application of a vacuum to remove contaminants. 


Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli


Thorough cooking

Cooking process where a burger is cooked to 70°C for two minutes, or an equivalent time/temperature combination. 



Confirmation, before implementation, that all elements of a specific plan or control measure are fit for purpose and should have the intended effect.


Checking, by examination and the consideration of objective evidence, whether specified requirements have been fulfilled, for example, checking and confirming that the HACCP based procedures are achieving the intended effect (controlling food safety hazards). This is conducted after implementation of a specific requirement plan or control measure.

Vulnerable groups

For the purpose of this guidance, these are the following population groups: children, the elderly, immunocompromised people and pregnant women.


Whole muscle cut of meat

Whole cuts or joints of meat that have not been minced, chopped or rolled.


We are consulting on this draft guidance. Take part in our burgers guidance consultation.