At some point, we have all asked ourselves if the meat we are eating has been cooked to a safe temperature. Whenever you prepare meat or seafood in your home, a food thermometer should be used to ensure that it has been cooked properly. In this article, we’ll review safe cooking temperatures for meat and seafood. The safe cooking temperatures for meat listed here have been provided by the Be Food Safe website (www.befoodsafe.org), which is a non-profit organization which specializes in teaching basic safe food handling practices, and educates on the prevention of foodborne illness in the home.
Safe cooking temperatures for meat. (Internal temperatures)
Ground beef – 160 degrees F
Ground veal – 160 degrees F
Ground lamb – 160 degrees F
Ground turkey – 165 degrees F
Ground chicken – 165 degrees F
Steak – Medium Rare – 145 degrees F
Steak – Medium – 160 degrees F
Steak – Well Done – 170 degrees F
Veal – Medium Rare – 145 degrees F
Veal – Medium – 160 degrees F
Veal – Well Done – 170 degrees F
Chicken (whole or parts) – 165 degrees F
Turkey (whole or parts) – 165 degrees F
Duck (whole or parts) – 165 degrees F
Goose (whole or parts) – 165 degrees F
Ham (pre-cooked and reheated) – 140 degrees F
Ham (raw) – 160 degrees F
Pork -Medium- 160 degrees F
Pork – Well Done – 170 degrees F
The safe cooking temperatures for seafood listed here have been provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov). Guidelines for safe cooking of seafood are based on appearance and texture than temperatures.
Safe cooking temperatures for seafood (Internal temperatures)
Finfish (meaning any fish other than flatfish) – 145 degrees F
* Finfish should be cooked until it easily flakes with a fork
Shrimp – Cook till opaque in color
Lobster – Cook until firm and opaque in color
Scallops – Cook until firm and opaque in color
Clams, mussels and oysters – Cook until the shells open
How to use a meat thermometer
A meat thermometer should be used anytime meat is cooked. Anyone that cooks at home should learn how to use a meat thermometer, as it takes the guesswork out of cooking, and helps to ensure that food has reached a safe cooking temperature. Cooking meat properly will rid it of bacteria and reduce the chance of foodborne illness.
To learn how to use a meat thermometer, begin by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Take care not to touch the bone, as this will give an inaccurate temperature reading. The sensor of the meat thermometer is approximately 1″ – 2″ long, so it must be completely inserted into the thickest part of the meat for an accurate reading. Once inserted, allow the thermometer a moment to read.
Use these guidelines for safe cooking temperatures whenever you prepare meat or seafood on the stove, in the oven, or on the grill.
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Personal knowledge and experience