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    Cooking Meat? Check the New Recommended Temperatures

    Cross posted from the FoodSafety.gov blog: On May 24, USDA made some important changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats. Here’s what you need to know:

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    Cooking Meat? Check the New Recommended Temperatures

    Posted by Diane Van, Manager, USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline in Health and Safety

    Jun 22, 2020

    Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer, then allow the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming.

    Cross posted from the FoodSafety.gov blog:

    On May 24, USDA made some important changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats. Here’s what you need to know:

    Cooking Whole Cuts of Pork: USDA has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 ºF to 145 ºF with the addition of a three-minute rest time. Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality—juicy and tender.Cooking Whole Cuts of Other Meats: For beef, veal, and lamb cuts, the safe temperature remains unchanged at 145 ºF, but the department has added a three-minute rest time as part of its cooking recommendations.What Cooking Temperatures Didn’t Change?Ground Meats: This change does not apply to ground meats, including beef, veal, lamb, and pork, which should be cooked to 160 ºF and do not require a rest time.Poultry: The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF.What Is Rest Time?

    “Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.

    Why Did the Recommendations Change?

    It’s just as safe to cook cuts of pork to 145 º F with a three-minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 ºF, the previously recommended temperature, with no rest time. The new cooking recommendations reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve a safe product.

    Having a single time and temperature combination for all meat will help consumers remember the temperature at which they can be sure the meat is safe to eat.

    How Do You Use a Food Thermometer?

    Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food. It should not touch bone, fat, or gristle. Start checking the temperature toward the end of cooking, but before you expect it to be done. Be sure to clean your food thermometer with hot soapy water before and after each use.

    To see where to place a food thermometer in different cuts of meat, see Thermometer Placement and Temperatures. For more information on cooking temperatures for all types of food, see the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart.

    If you have questions about cooking meat, feel free to contact us at the Hotline (1-888-674-6854 toll-free) or online at Ask USDA.

    Category/Topic: Health and Safety Tags:

    Ask Karen Food Safety food thermometer FoodSafety.gov

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    Write a Response Comments

    milan bedrosian Jun 16, 2011

    can one cook chicken at oven temp of 200 degrees and be sure it is safe to consume?

    Jeff W. Dec 28, 2011

    According to the article, it doesn't matter what the oven temp is set at as long as the internal temp of the poultry gets to at least 165*F.

    CBrown Feb 15, 2012

    I believe Milan Bedrosian is asking is a 200 degree oven temperature sufficient to raise the meat temperature quickly enough so that the meat temp will not be in the danger zone for too long a time.

    JBob Oct 16, 2012

    I'm sure that you *could* cook chicken in the oven at 200 degrees, but it's going to take a long time to get done, and it's going to fall apart.

    StPaul Feb 28, 2013

    The article reads "...all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, stays the same at 165 ºF." Does that mean whole whole cuts of poultry products too?

    KL Jun 12, 2013

    @StPaul, yes, all poultry products should be cooked to 165*F, whether whole or ground.

    Mike Mychajlonka PhD

    Jun 18, 2013

    We know that intact meat is itself a barrier to pathogen penetration into the interior. We also know that many cuts of meat have been needle or blade "tenderized." We know that such treatment will drive any surface contamination into the interior. The cut of meat pictured shows a pronounced Maillard reaction and looks like it has been cooked in a pan having a surface temperature of 350 - 400F. However, while this recommendation does specify that it applies to "Whole Cuts," I don't see anything in this recommendation that speaks to "Whole Cuts" of meat that have been needle or blade "tenderized," As many are by the time they reach the consumer. Should these be cooked, like ground meat, to an internal temperature of 160F?

    Source : www.usda.gov

    Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

    Follow these guidelines from FoodSafety.gov for safe minimum internal temperatures and rest times for meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods.

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    Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures


    Follow the guidelines below for safe minimum internal temperatures and rest time for meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods. Be sure to use a food thermometer to check whether meat has reached a safe minimum internal temperature that is hot enough to kill harmful germs that cause food poisoning.

    Download Table as PDF

    Food Type Internal Temperature (°F)

    Ground meat and meat mixtures Beef, pork, veal, lamb 160

    Turkey, chicken 165

    Fresh beef, veal, lamb Steaks, roasts, chops

    Rest time: 3 minutes 145

    Poultry All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets, and stuffing) 165

    Pork and ham Fresh pork, including fresh ham

    Rest time: 3 minutes 145

    Precooked ham (to reheat)

    Note: Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140°F 165

    Eggs and egg dishes Eggs Cook until yolk and white are firm

    Egg dishes (such as frittata, quiche) 160

    Leftovers and casseroles Leftovers and casseroles 165

    Seafood Fish with fins 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork

    Shrimp, lobster, crab, and scallops Cook until flesh is pearly or white, and opaque

    Clams, oysters, mussels Cook until shells open during cooking

    Date Last Reviewed March 11, 2022

    Source : www.foodsafety.gov

    The Correct Chicken Temperature for Juicy White and Dark Meat

    Ensuring your chicken is fully cooked, but not overdone, is all a matter of temperature. Here are the ones you need to know to make a perfect, juicy bird.

    The Correct Chicken Temperature for Juicy Meat Every Time

    The Correct Chicken Temperature for Juicy Meat Every Time No More Dry Overdone Birds

    By Danilo Alfaro Updated on 12/9/21

    Fact checked by Elizabeth Brownfield

    The Spruce

    Unsure what temperature your chicken should be so that it is safe to eat without being dry and overdone? The short answer for juicy, properly cooked chicken is 150 F for at least 3 minutes for white meat and 175 F for dark meat. Read on for more information about where these numbers come from and for tips and tricks for cooking the best chicken possible.

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    Watch Now: The Correct Temperature for Juicy Chicken Every Time

    Calculating Chicken Temperatures

    When it comes to cooking chicken, there are a lot of temperatures to keep in mind. There's the temperature you set your oven to, then there's the actual temperature of the chicken itself (known as the internal temperature), which is measured with an instant-read thermometer. And then there's the minimum safe internal temperature with respect to food safety—in other words, the temperature your chicken needs to reach to ensure that any harmful bacteria it might harbor, like salmonella or campylobacter, are killed.1

    The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

    Last but not least, there is the chicken temperature for quality purposes—so that the breast meat is firm and white but not stringy and dry, and the dark meat is tender rather than rubbery.

    25 Chicken Thigh Recipes for Weeknights and Entertaining

    White Meat Doneness

    The USDA recommends that chicken and poultry be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F for at least 30 seconds.2 However, due to carry over cooking, if you pull the chicken breast once it reaches an internal temperature of approximately 162 F, the chicken will retain heat and continue to rise in temperature to reach the necessary 165 F without overcooking and drying out the meat.

    Dark Meat Doneness

    Chicken thighs and all chicken dark meat tend to taste better when cooked to a higher temperature—175 to 180 F—due to their higher amounts of connective tissue. Cooking thigh meat to 165 F will yield chewy, rubbery meat, but at 175 to 180 F, it will be tender and juicy as the collagen melts and turns to gelatin.

    Teresa Short / Getty Images

    Roasting a Perfect Chicken

    The following steps for roasting a whole chicken will yield white and dark meat that is tender, succulent, and properly cooked.

    Preheat the oven to 500 F.

    Place the chicken in a roasting pan with a rack. Season with kosher salt.

    Insert an ovenproof digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the breast and set it to alert you when the temperature reaches 162 F.

    Transfer the chicken to the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350 F.

    Wait approximately 90 minutes for the alarm on the thermometer to beep.

    Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes, leaving the probe in the breast.

    After 30 minutes, carve and serve.

    Resting the Chicken

    During the resting period, you'll see the temperature on the digital probe display continue to rise and then fall. When it completes its rise and eventually dips down to 120 F, it's ready to carve.

    Because the temperature of a roasted chicken continues to rise for several minutes after taking it out of the oven, if you pull it out when the breast is 162 F and let it rest for 30 minutes, that breast meat will remain above 165 F for more than the required 8.4 minutes, making it tender, juicy, and perfectly safe. Likewise with the dark meat, which will eventually peak at around 200 F, which is more than sufficient for the collagen in the meat to break down, ensuring tender, juicy, flavorful dark meat.

    Bear in mind that the times and temperatures above refer only to roasting a whole chicken. It's the overall mass of the whole chicken that allows it to hold those temperatures during the resting time. If you tried roasting an individual chicken breast, it wouldn't work the same way.

    20 of Our Favorite Whole Chicken Recipes

    Source : www.thespruceeats.com

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