Food Safety Education Month: How hot should you cook your food?

September is Food Safety Education Month, so guess what — we have some education for you, right here, right now, that you can bring home and use in your own kitchen tonight.

You may know that raw foods can contain a number of pathogens that can make you sick. Some of the more well-known ones are Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus. You probably also know that when cooking food, the heat can kill these pathogens. But did you know that different meals require different cooking temperatures?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists these as the internal temperatures different food items need to be heated to in order to be safely eaten:

Beef, pork veal and lamb (in chops, roasts and steaks) – 145°F with a three-minute-long rest time

Ground meat – 160°F

Uncooked fresh or smoked ham – 145°F with a three-minute-long rest time

Already-cooked ham – 140°F

Poultry (ground, in parts, and whole, including stuffing) – 165°F

Eggs – Until both the yolk and white are firm

Egg-based dishes – 160°F

Fin fish – 145°F (or flesh is opaque and separates easily)

Shrimp, lobster and crab – Until flesh is opaque and pearly

Clams, oysters and mussels – Until shells open during cooking

Scallops – Until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm

Casserole-like dishes and reheated leftovers – 165°F

A food thermometer can help you make sure your food has reached these temperatures. For more food safety tips you can realize at home every day, see the FDA website, or browse some of our blog posts.

Neogen is a leader in providing food safety solutions to the food production and processing industry. Check out our website for more information.

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