Friday, May 27, 2011

Public service announcement on cooking pork

I read this over at 22 words and just had to pass it along...

The USDA has changed its stance on how to cook pork, and now asserting that it's ok if pork is a bit pink. More specifically, 145 degrees for whole meats including pork steaks, roasts and chops. (Why is this? The main risk for pork was the parasite trichinosis, but that really hasn't been seen since the 1950's.)

The Huffington post has another article confirming the change and hailing the new guidelines, as they note the old ones were "waaaay out of date and universally ignored by Chefs and skilled cooks."

What about chicken you ask? Great question! The safe temperature for cooking chicken remains the same, 165 degrees F, due to the very real threat of salmonella which is common in commercial chicken. Good hygiene and proper temperatures are important for handling and cooking poultry.

Ground beef and ground meets other than pork should still be cooked fairly well, up to 160F. Even if you love rare steak, there's really no advantage to getting all red inside your burger.

Beef steaks still have a 'recommended' temp of 145F (due to threat of E.Coli), but steakhouses would go out of business going more than 130-135F when the customer requests it rare-medium rare. Why do people cook it at lower temperatures without problem? Well, the harmful bacteria tend to be on the outside, and the searing of the steak over 300 degrees instantly kills them. Note! This is why if you cook medium rare steaks you should not poke holes in with a fork! You'll push any contaminants to the inside which will not reach sufficient temperature to kill them.

Thought you might like to know :)

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