Recommended Safe Food Temperatures

Backyard Chef Using Meat Thermometer on Hamburgers

If you are a person who assumes a hamburger is done because it appears brown all the way through, you might be wrong. According to the USDA, the color and texture of meat alone does not necessarily indicate that meat is thoroughly cooked.

In fact, one out of four hamburgers turns brown before it reaches the safe internal temperature of 160 degrees. The same is true of eggs, poultry, lamb, veal or beef. Any time you are cooking these foods, you are advised to use a thermometer to measure the temperature before you serve it.

Before removing the meat from its heat source, insert the thermometer into it as far as possible into the food’s center. For beef, pork, lamb or veal, cook these meats to a minimum of 145 degrees. For ground meats of the same, it is best to make sure it reaches at least 160 degrees before removing it from the meat source and serving it. The poultry should be cooked to at least 165 degrees before taking it off the heat and offering it to anyone.

When you use a food thermometer, you further protect your family from harmful food bacteria. In turn, your loved ones are less likely to experience food poisoning. Temperature readings also helps you avoid overcooking it in order to enjoy its full flavor. In any case, you are advised to place the thermometer into the thickest parts of the food to receive an accurate temperature reading. Also, make sure it does not touch bone, fat or gristle.

For a greater peace of mind, you might also want to check the food temperature in more than one spot on the meat. This also helps you ensure that the food is evenly heated – another way to make sure it tastes the way you want.


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