Cooking food safely is a matter of
Cook It Right . . .
Foods are properly cooked when they are heated
for a long enough time and at a high enough
temperature to kill harmful bacteria that
can cause foodborne illness. And these temperatures
vary, depending on the food.
. . . And Keep It Hot
When serving up hot food buffet-style, remember
. . On a buffet table, hot foods should be
kept at 140° F or higher. Keep food hot with chafing dishes, crock
pots, and warming trays.
3 Sizzling Cooking Tips
- Thumbs Up for Thermometers Use a clean food thermometer, which measures
the internal temperature of cooked
to make sure meat, poultry, egg dishes,
and other foods are cooked all the
- Microwave Musts When cooking in a microwave oven, make
sure there are no cold spots in food
bacteria can survive. For best results,
food, stir, and rotate for even cooking.
If there is no turntable, rotate
by hand once or twice during cooking.
- Shake, Rattle, and Roll Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a
rolling boil when reheating.
To keep food safe, cook it thoroughly.
use a clean food thermometer to check
internal temperature of the foods
Safe-Cooking Temperature Chart
- Cook beef roasts and steaks to 145° F for
medium rare or to 160°F for medium.
- Cook ground beef to at least 160° F.
- Cook raw sausages to 160° F.
- Reheat ready-to-eat sausages to 165° F.
- Cook pork roasts, chops, or ground patties
to 160° F for medium, or 170° F for
- Cook whole poultry to 180° F.
- Cook chicken breasts to 170° F.
- Cook stuffing to 165° F.
- Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are
firm. Don't use recipes in which
raw or only partially cooked.
- Cook fish until it's opaque and flakes easily
with a fork.
- For food safety reasons, avoid serving uncooked
oysters or shellfish. People with
or weakened immune systems are especially
at risk for getting sick.
When reheating leftovers, heat
to at least 165° F.
Did You Know?.....
Only 2% of consumers regularly
thermometer when cooking ground meat.
-Food Marketing Institute, 1999
If you have questions or concerns
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555
or (202) 720-3333 (Washington, DC area).
The TTY number for the hearing impaired
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Information Line at (888) SAFE FOOD.
The Fight BAC! Web site at: www.fightbac.org