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Food Safety: Should You Rinse Your Ground Beef Before Cooking?

In the past, one woman went viral for rinsing her ground beef claiming it was way more healthy to consume that way. Was she right? Or was it being extra? Keep reading to find out what the experts have to say about it.

By Cookist

Many people enjoy ground beef because of its grease. Some people reduce the grease after cooking by draining it but that act leaves some grease in they generally enjoy.

Recently, a TikTok user named Emily Harper posted a video that started with her promising to teach her viewers a healthy cooking hack she allegedly learned in her nutrition class.

Everything was great at the beginning; she cooked the ground beef and afterward started preparing to drain it like most people usually do.

However, that is where things went crazy. Rather than just drain the grease, Harper dumps the beef into a strainer and starts to rinse or over an extended period of time.

In her caption, Harper wrote: "All this grease is disgusting. So get rid of it!"

It was wrong of her to pour grease down the sink because it can harden up and gum the pipes. In subsequent videos, she revealed it is not something she does often.


Many TikTok users were shocked by Harper's health hack but most agreed that draining and rinsing ground beef could make it dry.

This means the delicious flavor and fat that gives ground beef that unique taste and keeps you full for longer goes to waste.

What The Experts Say


According to Diana Clark, a meat scientist with Certified Angus Beef, "the U.S. food system ensures that all beef is safe to eat and does not need to be washed prior to cooking."

Clark also said, "If you are worried about food safety, the best practices are to keep ground beef stored in the refrigerator to keep it cool and fresh, and to then cook your ground beef to 160 degrees."

If you decide to wash your beef anyway, Clark has advised that you ensure the raw juices don't splatter all your kitchen counters spreading bacteria that can cause illness.

Heidi Meyer, co-creator of Pound of Ground Crumbles, shares the same sentiment.

She said: “I believe the wisdom suggests you should not wash raw ground beef for fear of splattering raw juices throughout your kitchen. Either way you should always cook ground beef to a safe and savory 160°F."

Other experts have also said the same thing and expressed worry over how hygienic it is to wash beef. Aside from the hygiene, it is believed that washing ground beef is needless and should not necessarily be done.

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