Is a hamburger done when it's brown in the middle? Is poultry safe to eat when the juices run clear?
Using color is not a good way to decide whether meat, poultry or fish has been cooked to a safe temperature. It's how much heat is in the middle of the meat that matters. The only way to know that meat has been cooked to a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.
Here are the safe cooking temperatures for different types of food. By using a food thermometer to check whether food has reached a safe internal temperature, you can make sure that it is hot enough to kill harmful germs that cause food poisoning (foodborne illness). For reasons of personal preference, you may choose to cook food to higher temperatures.
|Food||Minimum Internal Temperature|
|Beef, Pork, Veal and Lamb (steaks, chops, roasts)||145°F (62.8°C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Ground Meats (beef, pork, veal, lamb)||160°F (71.1°C)|
|Ham, Fresh or Smoked (uncooked)||145°F (62.8°C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Fully Cooked Ham (to reheat)||140°F (60°C) for ham packaged in USDA plants, 165 °F (73.9°C) for all other hams|
|All Poultry (whole birds, parts, ground poultry and stuffing)||165°F (73.9°C)|
|Fish and Shellfish||145°F (62.8°C)|
Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart, United States Department of Agriculture
Kitchen Thermometers, United States Department of Agriculture