Monday, May 19, 2014

SAFE COOKING TEMPERATURES FOR HAMBURGERS AND OTHER FOODS


Today another ground beef recall is in the news, with some 1.8 million pounds of ground beef recalled. Well, nothing new. There have been such big recalls before, and there will be others in the future. Nor is this the first meat recall because of E.coli this year: we had one in early February as well.

So what can we meat-eaters do to be safe? You can't tell by looking at your meat or smelling it if it is contaminated. About the only thing is to handle the raw meat carefully and cook it enough to kill any bacteria (or parasites) in it. What the government food-safety gurus tell us, is that in the case of hamburger, that temperature should be at least 160 °F, and in some cases they even suggest 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer before you remove it from a heat source. That means a well-cooked hamburger. Sorry all you folks out there who like to eat their hamburger rare!

While I am at it, I thought I would post some other recommended food cooking temperatures as well (Source: USDA-FSIS).

Steaks, chops, roasts 145 °F (62.8 °C)
Ground meats 160 °F (71.1 °C)
Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked) 145 °F (60 °C)
Fully Cooked Ham (to reheat) Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 °F (60 °C) and all others to 165 °F (73.9 °C).
All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, and wings, ground poultry, and stuffing) 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Fish & Shellfish 145 °F (62.8 °C)
Eggs 160 °F (71.1 °C)
Leftovers 165 °F (73.9 °C)
Casseroles 165 °F (73.9 °C)


To your good health,
TSF

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