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By: Anthony Flood Date: 5/31/11

This year as we enter the summer grilling season, it’s important to be food safe and always remember to…

Separate – don’t cross contaminate;

Cook – cook to proper temperatures; and

Chill – refrigerate promptly;

Clean – wash hands and surfaces often

In addition, did you know that the USDA FSIS recently revised its recommended cooking temperature for all whole cuts of pork to 145F?  It’s been a long held belief by consumers who view the color “pink” as being a sign of undercooked meat.  According to FSIS, “if raw pork is cooked to 145F and allowed to rest for three minutes, it may still be pink but is safe to eat.”  In addition, the same temperature applies for cooking whole cuts of beef, veal and lamb; while the cooking temperature for ground pork, beef, veal and lamb remains at 160F.  The safe internal temperatures for all poultry, chicken and turkey product still remains at 165F.

Still, one question may linger. How do I tell if the product has reached a safe internal temperature?  The answer is quite simple, practical and easy.  Use a meat thermometer.  It is important to use a meat thermometer to ensure any raw meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature but only a few of us actually do.  According to the 2011 IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey approximately 50% of Americans actually use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of meat. Experts and food safety educators agree, the only way to appropriately check the doneness of meat is to use a meat thermometer.  The mere threat of an unfortunate foodborne illness motivates me to use a meat thermometer.  How often do you use a meat thermometer?

Additional Resources

USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service
Partnership for Food Safety Education

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