USDA Cooking Guidance For Pork, Red Meats PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:40
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FEATURE – USDA COOKING GUIDANCE FOR PORK, RED MEATS

 

INTRO: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lowered its recommended cooking temperature for pork cuts and other meats. USDA’s Patrick O’Leary has more from Washington, D.C. (1:57)

 

THERE’S A NEW RECOMMENDED TEMPERATURE AND PROCEDURE FOR COOKING PORK. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SAYS THE NEW TWO-STEP PROCESS IS DESIGNED TO PREVENT FOODBORNE ILLNESS:FIRST, PORK ROASTS AND CHOPS SHOULD REACH A SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF 145 DEGREES FARENHEIT, BEFORE REMOVING FROM THE HEAT SOURCE AND AS MEASURED WITH A FOOD THERMOMETER. SECOND, CONSUMERS SHOULD ALLOW A THREE-MINUTE REST TIME BEFORE CARVING OR CONSUMING PORK CUTS.

 

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary Food Safety: So USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that it is just as safe to cook pork, whole cuts of pork and other red meats to 145 º with a 3-minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 º with no rest time. And this combination is sufficient to protect against pathogens such as Salmonella that could be found in those cuts of meat.

 

DURING THE 3 MINUTES AFTER MEAT IS REMOVED FROM THE HEAT SOURCE, ITS TEMPERATURE REMAINS CONSTANT OR CONTINUES TO RISE, WHICH WILL DESTROY ANY PATHOGENS.

 

Hagen: And so lowering the cooking temperature of raw pork, steaks, roasts, and chops by 15 degrees with the addition of that 3-minute rest time will provide consumers with a product that is both microbiologically safe and at its best quality: juicy and tender.

 

THE USDA SAYS THE SAME GUIDANCE APPLIES FOR ALL MEATS, INCLUDING BEEF, VEAL AND LAMB. THEY SAY THE SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF 145 DEGREES SHOULD BE VERIFIED WITH A FOOD THERMOMETER.


Hagen: That’s right, a food thermometer is really the only way to determine if meat has reached an internal temperature that ensures the product is safe to eat.

 

THERE IS NO CHANGE TO THE RECOMMENDED SAFE COOKING TEMPERATURES FOR GROUND MEATS, INCLUDING BEEF, VEAL, LAMB AND PORK, WHICH REMAINS 16O DEGREES FARENHEIT, OR FOR POULTRY PRODUCTS, INCLUDING GROUND CHICKEN AND TURKEY. THAT REMAINS AT 165 DEGREES FARENHEIT.

 

Hagen: To learn more, you can ask a food safety question at AskKaren either on-line or on your smart phone, or call the USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPhotline.

 

IN WASHINGTON, FOR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, I’M PAT O’LEARY.


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