MEAT COOKING TEMPERATURE

MINIMUM INTERNAL COOKING TEMPERATURE

Getting the right meat cooking temperature is critical in preventing food borne illnesses.

I have personal experience with what poor food handling can do to you. My nephew contracted Salmonella a few years ago. Although he survived the ordeal, he nearly wasted away for over a year before he made a turn around for the better. To this day he is very cautious about food preparation. And rightly so!

I've prepared this chart to help you when it's time to cook meat.  One of the best kitchen gadgets for getting the exact temperature is an instant-read digital thermometer.  I use mine all the time.

Here's something else you should know. 

Take the meat out when it's 5 degrees before the desired doneness and let it sit for 10 minutes.  The temperature will continue to rise and this way you won't over cook your meal.  Plus it allows the juices to remain in the meat making it much more moist and tender.

GROUND MEAT

Ground meat needs extra special handling. All ground meats need to be cooked or frozen within 24 hours of purchase.

During the grinding process, a lot of air becomes incorporated into the meat. This really fosters a great environment for the breeding of microorganisms, which cause the meat to go bad really fast.

All fresh ground beef, veal, lamb and pork MUST reach a minimum internal temperature of 160°F.

And ground poultry MUST reach 165°F

Here is the recommended meat cooking temperature for red and white meat.

To be considered safe to eat, the following cuts of meat must reach a minimum internal temperature as indicated here.


BEEF, VEAL and LAMB – roasts or steaks or chops

Medium rare, cook to 145°F

Medium, cook to 160°F

Well done, cook to 170°F


FRESH PORK – roasts or steaks or chops

Medium, cook to 160°F

Well done, cook to 170°F


HAM

Cook before eating to 160°F

Fully cooked, reheat to 140°F


POULTRY

Ground, cook to 165°F

Whole birds, cook to 165°F

Breasts, cook to 165°F

Thighs and Wings, cook until all juices run clear

Stuffing, cook to 165°F whether cooked on its own or inside the bird.


EGG DISHES and CASSEROLES

Cook to 160°F


LEFTOVERS

Reheat to 165°F


I do hope this has been helpful and that you'll refer to this page time and time again.  I do because I've never been able to remember all of this off by heart.  I really should commit it to memory!  Oh well.

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