Is there any risk of illness from eating a lamb chop?

Yes, particularly if it isn't thoroughly cooked. The major concern is the pathogen salmonella and, to a lesser extent, E. coli. During processing, both pathogens can be transferred from intestine to muscle. These two pathogens reside only on the surface of whole-muscle lamb, but  grinding disperses bacteria throughout the meat. Cooking ground lamb to an internal temperature of 160°F destroys the bacteria. 
 
Additionally, fresh lamb may grow spoilage and/or pathogenic bacteria  if not stored at a temperature of 40°F or less.  Spoilage can also occur if lamb is refrigerated at a proper temperature for a prolonged period of time. 
Fortunately, proper storage, handling, and  cooking of lamb eliminates most risk of illness.
 
Source(s):
USDA Fact Sheets "Salmonella Questions and Answers"

 
 

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