Heat Before You Eat
Food Safety
Mike Parker

E. coli, salmonella, listeria, parasites. These are just a few of the nasty little critters that might be lurking in your raw meat, just waiting to give you a raging case of food poisoning. The good news is, thorough cooking destroys these organisms. You don’t have to grill that steak until it’s tough as shoe leather, but you do need to get the meat hot enough to kill all those pesky bacteria. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you can’t trust in appearance alone to tell if your meat has reached the minimum safe temperature, but a simple, inexpensive meat thermometer will do the trick. Use the chart below to determine the safe internal temperature for different kinds of meat and poultry.

  • Fresh Beef Steaks, Roasts – 145 degrees (allow meat to rest for at least 3 minutes after removing from heat).
  • Fresh Ground Beef – 160 degrees
  • Fresh Pork, Ham – 145 degrees (allow meat to rest for at least 3 minutes after removing from heat).
  • Fresh Ground Pork – 160 degrees
  • Fresh Poultry (Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Goose) – 165 degrees
  • Fresh Ground Poultry (Chicken, Turkey) - 165

Note: During the resting process, the internal temperature of the meat remains constant or continues to rise, helping to destroy any remaining harmful bacteria.

Food Safety

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