Food poisoning: Prevention includes safe cooking temperatures

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Food poisoning: Prevention includes safe cooking temperatures

Prevent food poisoning — Use a food thermometer and know the safe cooking temperatures.

If an experienced eye is all you use to tell if meat, poultry or egg dishes are cooked to a safe temperature, you're putting yourself and your family at risk of food poisoning. Using a food thermometer is the only sure way to know if your food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy harmful bacteria.

The Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has evaluated safe cooking temperatures for a variety of foods. Here are its recommendations.

Food Safe internal cooking temperatures
Ground meat  
Beef, pork, veal, lamb 160 F
Poultry 165 F
Beef, veal, lamb (whole cuts)  
Medium rare 145 F
Medium 160 F
Well-done 170 F
Poultry  
Whole birds 180 F
Breasts 170 F
Legs, thighs, wings 180 F
Pork (fresh)  
Medium 160 F
Well-done 170 F
Ham  
Fresh 160 F
Cooked 140 F
Leftover cooked ham 165 F
Fish and shellfish 145 F
Egg dishes 160 F
Other: Casseroles, combination dishes, stuffing, stews, leftovers 165 F

Last Updated: 06/06/2006
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