Killing Food Bacteria with the Right Temperature
Do you wash your raw meat, poultry, or fish to remove bacteria that cause food-borne illness? Wrong approach! The only way to kill bacteria in meat, poultry, and seafood is through proper cooking to a safe inside temperature. That includes hamburgers and meatloaf; surface bacteria can get mixed inside ground meat dishes. As you cook, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
Not in the habit of using a meat thermometer? Today’s a good day to start.
- Shop for a meat or “instant read” thermometer.
- Insert the thermometer in the thickest part (not by the bone or fat).
- Check the temp: 140°F for pre-cooked ham; 145°F for fish; 160°F for pork, medium-cooked beef or lamb, ham (not pre-cooked), ground meat, or egg dishes; 165°F for ground chicken or turkey, or leftovers; 170°F for poultry roast or breast; 180°F for a whole chicken or turkey.