The lowest safe temperature to cook pork is 145°F (62.8°C).
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According to food safety experts, the lowest safe temperature to cook pork is 145°F (62.8°C). This temperature is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is considered to be the minimum temperature required to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses.
As pork may contain harmful bacteria, it is important to cook it thoroughly to ensure that it is safe to eat. Undercooked pork can lead to a range of illnesses, including salmonella, E. coli, and trichinosis.
Here are some interesting facts about cooking pork safely:
- Pork that is cooked to 145°F is safe to eat even if it is still slightly pink in the middle. The pink color is due to a chemical reaction between the meat’s pigments and the heat, and does not indicate that the meat is undercooked.
- Pork that is ground or minced must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 160°F (71.1°C) to ensure that all harmful bacteria are killed.
- Using a meat thermometer is the most reliable way to check the internal temperature of pork. Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch bone or fat.
- Letting pork rest for a few minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and moist.
- The USDA also recommends that pork should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) or below, and cooked leftovers should be consumed within four days.
In the words of chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” By following some basic food safety guidelines and cooking pork to the recommended temperature, we can ensure that the simple pleasure of a tasty pork dish is also a safe one.
|Type of Pork||Safe Minimum Internal Temperature|
|Chops, Roasts, Steaks||145°F (62.8°C)|
|Ground Pork||160°F (71.1°C)|
|Ham (uncooked)||145°F (62.8°C)|
|Ham (precooked)||140°F (60°C)|
See the answer to “What is the lowest safe temperature to cook pork?” in this video
Chef Jeff from White Apron Catering in Lake Worth, Florida, shares guidelines for proper cooking temperatures to ensure safe food handling. Temperatures of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one second are recommended for poultry, stuffings, meats, fish, wild game, reheated foods, and foods microwaved, while ground meat and sausages should be cooked to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 17 seconds. For whole muscle groups and seafood, a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, as well as for poached or scrambled eggs, while the danger zone between 135 and 241 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided. The chef encourages feedback and thanks viewers for watching.
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145 °FSafe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart
Product Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb Steaks, chops, roasts 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes Ground Meats 160 °F (71.1 °C) Ground Poultry 165 °F
Cook all raw pork steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
It’s now recommended to cook pork steaks, chops, and roasts to at least 145°F (63°C) — which allows the meat to maintain its moisture and flavor without drying it out ( 6 ). Organ meats, ground pork, and mixtures made using ground pork should still be cooked to at least 160°F (71°C).
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Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality—juicy and tender.