What is not known from the article are the following:
Was the meat stored at the correct temperature to slow the growth of the e coli?
Was the meat out (warming to a more conducive temperature for growth) for an extended period of time prior to cooking?
Was the same plate used without washing for both the uncooked and the cooked burgers thereby contaminating cooked burgers?
I am fairly certain that the greater the number or concentratin of ecoli, the greater the risk. Look at swimming at the beach. Beaches get closed when the number rises above a certain level, so below that the risk in minimal or aceptable. In prepping and cooking, the object is to make sure that we don't compound a problem and tend to what is within our control.
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