March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Prevent Food Poisoning by Using a Food Thermometer
Don't rely upon sight, smell or taste alone to determine if your food is safe to eat. Make sure foods are cooked to a safe minimum internal cooking temperature by using the chart below and testing the food with a food thermometer to make sure this temperature is reached.
Ensuring foods reach this safe minimum internal temperature with a food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure safety and to determine the doneness of cooked meats, poultry, egg dishes and leftovers.
Follow these six steps outlining how to safely use a food thermometer.
|Ground Meat and Meat Mixtures||Beef, Pork, Veal and Lamb||160°F|
|Hamburgers (prepared as patties, meatballs, etc.)||160°F|
|Turkey and Chicken||165°F|
|Fresh Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb||Steaks, Roasts and Chops*||145°F*|
|Poultry||Whole Chicken and Turkey||165°F|
|Poultry Breasts and Roasts||165°F|
|Poultry Thighs, Legs and Wings||165°F|
|Duck and Goose||165°F|
|Stuffing (cooked in bird or alone)||165°F|
|Fresh Ham (raw)*||145°F*|
|Precooked Ham (to reheat)**||140°F|
|Egg Dishes||Egg Dishes||160°F|
|Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm|
|Leftovers and Casseroles||Leftovers||165°F|
|Seafood||Fin Fish||145°F or until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork|
|Shrimp, Lobster and Crabs||Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque|
|Clams, Oysters and Mussels||Cook until shells open during cooking|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm|
|Game Animals||Venison, Elk and Bison||160°F|
|Game Birds||Grouse, Guineafowl, Partridge, Squab (young pigeon), Quail, Pheasant, Ratites (emu, ostrich, and rhea), Wild Ducks, Wild Geese, Wild turkey, and other species||165°F|
*Must reach an internal temperature of 145°F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes before carving or consuming.
**Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140°F and all others to 165°F.