Updated Recommendations for Safely Cooking Meat and Poultry
This change does not apply to ground meats, including ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork which should be cooked to 160 degrees F and do not require a rest time. The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, remains at 165 degrees F.
This also does not apply to cured pork products such as ham. Fresh or raw ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F; pre-cooked ham should be reheated to 140 degrees F.
The new cooking recommendations clarify long-held perceptions about cooking pork. Historically, consumers have viewed the color pink in pork to be a sign of undercooked meat. If raw port is cooked to 145 degrees F and allowed to rest for three minutes, it may still be pink but is safe to eat. The pink color can be due to the cooking method, added ingredients, or other factors. Many cuts of meat, but especially port, have gotten leaner over time. As farmers have raised leaner animals there is less fat in the muscle to baste the meat during cooking and the meat tends to dry out, especially if cooked. Cooking to a lower, but still safe, internal temperature will give consumers a safe, high quality product to enjoy.