Prevent Foodborne Illness Using Minimum Temperatures

Meat Thermometer with Cooked Steak

The foods we eat every day come from many places... not only different restaurants, our home or the tables of friends and family, but also different farms across the country and around the world. That being said, it is more important than ever to prevent foodborne illness by knowing the proper temperatures at which different foods need to be prepared. If you are a home chef that takes pride in their cooking, you may rely on the "eyeball method" and instinctively know when food is ready. However, this can often lead to unintentional food poisoning.

The internal color of food is a poor indicator of its doneness, so unfortunately we are in the hands of the chef when eating at a restaurant. Cooking at home allows you to have better control of food safety. The most important tool in any kitchen is the food thermometer. The internal temperature is the only key indicator of true food safety. Fortunately, the FDA has prepared a handy guide for a list of popular foods.

Memorizing a few key numbers can go a long way in food safety. Ground meats such as beef and pork need to be at 160° whereas ground poultry should reach 165° temperature before being served. As for fresh beef or lamb steaks, roasts, and chops, look for 145° on the thermometer. Almost all chicken, whether it is grilled, baked, or fried needs to reach a minimum 165° to be safe. Leftovers also make the list. Poor reheating is a common source of food poisoning. Be sure to reheat these to 165° before eating.

While weight loss is the number one goal of the Metabolic Research Center program, food safety is also a primary concern. Learning as much as you can about food safety, will ensure a healthier path along your weight loss journey.


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