In this article we discuss minimum safe temperatures for cooking meats.
Why does this matter?
Insufficiently cooked meat can harbor harmful germs that can lead to food poisoning and other illnesses. Enough heat will kill these harmful germs. You can't tell just by looking at color whether meat is safely cooked. Safely cooked meat can still be pink depending on the type and how it was prepared. For instance, chicken can still have a pinkish hue after being smoked.
This chart shows minimum safe temperatures* for a variety of foods. Use a cooking or meat thermometer to check the internal temperature as it cooks.
|Food||Minimum Safe Internal Temperature||Rest time|
|Ground beef, lamb, pork or veal||160F / 70C||None|
|Gound chicken or turkey||165F / 75C||None|
|Steaks, chops or roasts||145F / 65C||3 minutes|
|Whole chicken, turkey, duck or goose||165F / 75C||None|
|Poultry breasts and roasts||165F / 75C||None|
|Poultry thighs, legs and wings||165F / 75C||None|
|Stuffing, cooked in the bird||165F / 75C||None|
|Fresh pork and ham||145F / 65C||3 minutes|
|Reheated (precooked) ham||140F / 60C||None|
|Eggs (raw)||Cook until yolks are firm||None|
|Egg dishes||160F / 70C||None|
|Leftovers and casseroles||165F / 75C||None|
|Fish||145F / 65C, or until opaque and fish easily flakes with a fork||None|
|Crap, shrimp, lobster||Cook until flesh is opaque and pearly||None|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is firm and milky white or opaque||None|
|Clams, mussels and oysters||Cook until the shells open||None|