Cook to the Right Temperature

Food is safely cooked when the internal temperature is high enough to kill germs that can make you sick:

  • Use a food thermometer to be sure your food is safe.
    • 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
    • 160°F for ground meats, such as beef and pork
    • 165°F for all poultry, including ground chicken and turkey
    • 165°F for leftovers and casseroles
    • 145°F for fresh ham (raw)
    • 145°F for fin fish or cook until flesh is opaque
  • Keep food hot (140˚F or above) after cooking:
  • If you’re not serving food right after cooking, keep it out of the temperature danger zone (40°F and 140°F) by using a heat source like a chafing dish, warming drawer, or slow cooker.

Microwave food thoroughly (165˚F or above):

  • Read package directions for cooking and follow them exactly to make sure food is thoroughly cooked. If the food label says, “Let stand for x minutes after cooking,” this enables colder areas to absorb heat from hotter areas.
  • When heating leftovers such as sauces or soups, stirring food in the middle of heating assists with even cooking.