Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cooking Ham

Cooking Ham
With Easter quickly approaching, you may choose to serve ham.  Here is some information from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection website about cooking a ham.
Cooking or Reheating Hams
Both whole or half, cooked, vacuum-packaged hams packaged in federally inspected plants and canned hams can be eaten cold, right out of the package.

However, if you want to reheat these cooked hams, set the oven no lower than 325 °F and heat to an internal temperature of 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

Unpackaged, cooked ham is potentially contaminated with pathogens. For cooked hams that have been repackaged in any other location outside the processing plant or for leftover cooked ham, heat to 165 °F.
Spiral-cut cooked hams are also safe to eat cold. The unique slicing method, invented in 1957, reduces carving problems. These hams are best served cold because heating sliced whole or half hams can dry out the meat and cause the glaze to melt and run off the meat. If reheating is desired, hams that were packaged in processing plants under USDA inspection must be heated to 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer (165 °F for leftover spiral-cut hams or ham that has been repackaged in any other location outside the plant). To reheat a spiral-sliced ham in a conventional oven, cover the entire ham or portion with heavy aluminum foil and heat at 325 °F for about 10 minutes per pound. Individual slices may also be warmed in a skillet or microwave.

Cook-before-eating hams or fresh hams must reach 160 °F to be safely cooked before serving. Cook in an oven set no lower than 325 °F. Hams can also be safely cooked in a microwave oven, other countertop appliances, and on the stove. Consult a cookbook for
specific methods and timing.

Country hams can be soaked 4 to 12 hours or longer in the refrigerator to reduce the salt content before cooking. Then they can be cooked by boiling or baking. Follow the manufacturer's cooking instructions.
NOTE: Set oven temperature to 325 °F. Cook all raw fresh ham and ready-to-eat ham to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F 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. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures. Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 °F and all others to 165 °F.

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