The kitchen essential for safe cooking, and the surprising number of households actually using it. Cathy Isom lets us know what this tool is coming up on This Land of Ours.
When you cook beef, poultry or seafood you should be using a meat or food thermometer. But you might be surprised by a recent survey by the Census Bureau and the Ag Department. Karen Hamrick says thousands of chief household meal preparers were questioned in the study and asked if they’d ever used a meat thermometer,
“and of those, 13-percent did in fact use a meat or food thermometer in cooking their meat, poultry or seafood.”
Only 13-percent! Which is a little startling since not using a meat and food thermometer could mean a matter of life or death according to USDA Food Safety Expert Marianne Gravely.
“it’s the only way to know that your food has reached a safe temperature. You can’t tell by looking at a food. You can’t tell by the juices. The only reliable way to know that your food has reached a safe temperature is to use a food thermometer.”
Meat and food thermometers can be found in many stores or online and start at just under ten bucks.
From: Food Safety.gov
Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.
Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.
Why the Rest Time is Important
After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
|Category||Food||Temperature (°F)||Rest Time|
|Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures||Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb||160||None|
|Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb||Steaks, roasts, chops||145||3 minutes|
|Poultry||Chicken & Turkey, whole||165||None|
|Poultry breasts, roasts||165||None|
|Poultry thighs, legs, wings||165||None|
|Duck & Goose||165||None|
|Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)||165||None|
|Pork and Ham||Fresh pork||145||3 minutes|
|Fresh ham (raw)||145||3 minutes|
|Precooked ham (to reheat)||140||None|
|Eggs & Egg Dishes||Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm||None|
|Leftovers & Casseroles||Leftovers||165||None|
|Seafood||Fin Fish||145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.||None|
|Shrimp, lobster, and crabs||Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.||None|
|Clams, oysters, and mussels||Cook until shells open during cooking.||None|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.||None|