Foodservice Equipment Reports

U.S.D.A. Revises Recommended Cook Temp For Pork To 145 °F

A little pink in the pork is okay. The United State Department of Agriculture has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160°F to 145°F and added a three-minute rest time. The safe temperature for cuts of beef, veal, and lamb remains unchanged at 145°F, but the department is adding the three-minute rest time to these meats to fully ensure pork, steaks, roasts and chops are microbiologically safe and at their best quality.

The revised recommendations were issued May 24. There is no change to temp requirements for ground meats; ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork should be cooked to 160°F and do not require a rest time. The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, remains at 165°F.

"With a single temperature for all whole cuts of meat and uniform three-minute stand time, we believe it will be much easier for consumers to remember and result in safer food preparation," said U.S.D.A. Undersecretary Elisabeth Hagen. "Now there will only be three numbers to remember: 145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats and 165°F for all poultry."

The new cooking suggestions reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve safe pathogen reduction. In its previous recommendation, the U.S.D.A. recommended cooking pork to 160 °F degrees, but now reports that its Food Safety and Inspection Service found that cooking pork to a temperature of 145°F degrees and letting it rest for three minutes is just as safe as cooking it to a higher temperature.