Safe Food Temperatures

The Uunited States Department of Agriculture changed its guidelines for cooking whole cuts of pork in May 2011. The new guidelines dropped the recommended final internal temperature to (63˚C) 145˚F from 71ºC (160ºF). This new temperature combined with a 3 minute stand time is now enough to meet food safety regulations in the United States.

Although these new temperatures have not been adopted by Canada as of yet, this is still very exciting news for those of us who like to eat pork. Often pork it viewed as tough and dry- because it is often over cooked. This new temperature lets consumers know that you do not have to overcook pork for it to be safe, a little bit of pink in your pork is alright.

If you don’t already, using a food thermometer can make you a better and safer cook. Cooking your food to a safe internal temperature will kill harmful bacteria. It also helps you cook to just the right temperature to prevent overcooking. If you have never used a meat thermometer before, temperatures for whole cuts of meat should be taken in the thickest part of the meat. Don’t let it touch the bone as that might throw off the reading.

Despite the new recommendation, ground meats must still be cooked to 160 degrees and all poultry products must be cooked to 165 degrees. I hope this post makes your kitchen just a little bit safer! Do you use a thermometer when cooking?


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