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Safe Cooking Temperatures

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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

*Source: FoodSafety.gov

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