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Chef fuming over burger-cooking rule

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017
BurgerFuel has douubled its first half profit. © Getty Images BurgerFuel has douubled its first half profit.

A Bay of Plenty chef says government "bureaucracy gone mad" has forced him to take his signature burger off the menu, but the Ministry for Primary Industries says chefs are still able to create their own "bespoke plan".

Duke of Marlborough executive chef Dan Fraser says he's having to reluctantly say goodbye to his "Governor's Burger" because new MPI standards means he can't leave its patty pink in the middle.

"The MPI laws are bureaucracy gone mad," he said in a Facebook post.

"We are only allowed to cook our burger to a dry, rubbery well-done and I'm not proud to serve this."

The new rules say meat has to have an internal temperature of 65C when cooked for 15 minutes or 75C if it's being cooked for 30 seconds.

The rules mean a medium-rare burger essentially can't be made on a grill and would instead have to be done "sous-vide" - or slow cooked in a plastic pouch.

Mr Fraser didn't make much of that option.

"Who the f*** wants a sous-vide burger?" he told Fairfax.

"Basically, the ministry is telling us how our customers need to eat their food."

Mr Fraser said steak tartar, carpaccio and his liver parfait would also have to be taken off the menu.

MPI director Peter Thomson told NZ Newswire they will be talking to chefs about ways they can serve medium rare burgers and still keep food safe for consumers.

"MPI's template is designed to meet the needs of the majority of food service and food retail businesses, including the local takeaway, corner dairy, cafes and restaurants," Mr Thomson said.

'We're happy to work with chefs wanting to develop a bespoke food control plan that covers their specific menu items.

"The methods in a bespoke plan might require different methods of sourcing, storing and handling the meat to make sure consumers are still protected."

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