United States Department of Agriculture Revises Cooking Temperatures for Meat
The United States Department of Agriculture revised its recommended cooking temperature for pork, steaks, roasts and chops today.
"USDA recommends cooking all whole cuts of meat to 145 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allowing the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming," reads the update from the Department's web site.
The update does not affect ground meats, including beef, veal, lamb and pork, which should still be cooked to 160 degrees and do not require a rest time. The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, remains 165 degrees.
"With a single temperature for all whole cuts of meat and uniform 3 minute stand time, we believe it will be much easier for consumers to remember and result in safer food preparation," said Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen. "Now there will only be 3 numbers to remember: 145 for whole meats, 160 for ground meats and 165 for all poultry."
The "rest time" is the amount of the time the cooked product remains at its final temperature after being removed from its heat source. During the three minutes following removal, the meat's temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys any pathogens that may have been been present.