Meat Hacks: Safe Internal Meat Cooking Temperatures

Learn what internal temperature to cook meat to for a safe meat product with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

Meat Hacks

The guidelines to use when cooking meat products comes from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in what is known as Appendix A or their Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart. Appendix A from FSIS gives us a temperature to cook meat to and how long the meat needs to stay at that temperature to kill a certain amount of bacteria. 160 degrees Fahrenheit is what is typically offered as the suggested cooking temp for many meat products because at 160 degrees, lethality of a bacteria like Salmonella is instant. However, you can still safely cook to a temperature of only 140 degrees, but you must maintain that temperature for 12 minutes. There will be a link in the description below to the full chart in Appendix A from FSIS.

FSIS and the USDA also has a Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart, which gives us very simple recommendations for a variety of products. We should cook beef, pork, ham, veal, and lamb that is in steaks, chops, roasts, and other whole muscle cuts to 145 degrees and let rest for 3 minutes. For all ground meats (and things like hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs), you should cook to 160 degrees. Switching gears to poultry, all chicken, turkey, or other birds should be cooked to 165 degrees. A minimum of 165 degrees also applies to reheating and cooking leftovers. If you are cooking eggs, they only need to be cooked to 160 degrees, and finally, fish and shellfish only need to be cooked to a 145 degree temp.

People do have a tendency to under-cook beef and over-cook pork and chicken, but if you follow the guidelines from FSIS and the USDA, and use a meat thermometer when cooking, you can make sure you are making a safe product and you are doing it consistently every single time!

FSIS Appendix A

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/95-033F/95-033F_Appendix_A.htm

Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/safe-minimum-internal-temperature-chart/ct_index

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