Should You Eat Undercooked Turkey Burger?

Eating an undercooked turkey burger is not healthy because it can lead to salmonella infection. Although it is not illegal to sell or buy undercooked turkey burgers it is not entirely safe to consume.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all poultry and poultry products be cooked to 165°F to get rid of bacteria.

If you want to know more about undercooked turkey burgers, what happens if you eat them, and how to tell if your turkey burger is done, then read on.

What are turkey burgers made of?

Turkey burgers are burgers made with ground turkey, onion, bread crumbs, eggs, and other seasonings. If made properly, it is a perfectly healthy dish, and this is because it has a high nutritional value.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a 4-ounce (100 grams) serving of turkey burger contains the following:

  • Calories: 153
  • Fat: 11g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg
  • Carbohydrate: 15g

It also contains sodium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, calcium, iron, sugar, niacin, selenium, and phosphorus.

Is it safe to eat an undercooked turkey burger?

It is not safe to eat an undercooked turkey burger. This is because ground turkey contains a virulent strain of bird flu that can affect humans in various ways.

The most common effect of eating undercooked turkey burgers is salmonella bacteria. This bacteria causes food-borne illness that manifests as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramp, and fever.

These symptoms could manifest as quickly as 12 hours after consumption, but in some cases, it takes up to 3 days.

It takes between 4 to 7 days for symptoms to clear. But, if they persist, see a doctor.

Can you eat a medium-rare turkey burger?

Although it is allowed to eat medium-rare turkey burgers, it is not safe. This is because the bacteria in the meat may still be alive since it has not been cooked to the ideal cooking temp.

How can you tell if a turkey burger is done?

Because turkey is lean meat, it needs to be well cooked to avoid food poisoning. But the question is, how can you tell if a turkey burger is done?

There are three ways of checking the doneness level of a turkey burger. They include:

1. Using a meat thermometer

Each variety of meat requires a different cooking temperature to attain the best level of doneness. Ground turkey must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The easiest way to achieve this temperature is to insert the meat thermometer in the center of the burger. Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F, the burger is properly cooked.

2. Taste the juices

Although the meat thermometer is the best way to check for doneness, another way of ensuring that your turkey burger is done is to taste the juice coming from the patty.

Simply use a knife or a fork to slice or pierce the patty, then check the juice coming out of it. The best practice is to pierce the thickest part of the patty; if the juice runs clear, then it is properly cooked.

But if the juice is pinkish or red, then you may need to cook your burger a bit further. Remember to check the juice again after a short time.

3. Color

When using the grill for burgers, the meat should have a nice golden-brown color with crisp edges. If the color Is still pinkish, then there is a good chance the patty is still undercooked


Which cut of turkey is best for turkey burgers?

Turkey breast is the best lean meat option for burgers. This is because they contain less bone and blend well with other seasonings.

What are the best side dishes for turkey burgers?

Some of the best dishes to enjoy alongside your turkey burgers include; zucchini fries, seasoned roasted-corn salad, or chargrilled broccolini.

Is it okay to eat a turkey burger that is a little bit pink?

Yes, it is. As long as the burger is cooked to a safe eating temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, then you are good to go.

Do all turkeys have salmonella?

Yes, they do. Turkey and other poultry have salmonella present in their digestive tract. However, this bacteria is not harmful if the meat is cooked properly and if proper hygiene is maintained.


Undercooked turkey burgers are not safe. Eating raw and undercooked poultry has been linked with salmonella infections.

Always ensure that your burger is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F. Apart from the read meat thermometer, examine the color and juice coming from the meat to be sure it is well cooked.

Thank you for reading this article.

Visit Millenora for more helpful cooking guides.