Food safety is a big deal in our home kitchens. The last thing any of us want is for something we cooked to cause someone we care about to get sick. One of the ways we can prevent foodborne illness is to properly cook our foods to ensure that harmful bacteria is destroyed.
Partnership for Food Safety Education provides the following information to help us know how to safely cook foods.
Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. The best way to Fight BAC!® is to:
- Use a food thermometer which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat, poultry and egg dishes, to make sure that the food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145°F. All poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.
- Cook ground meat, where bacteria can spread during grinding, to at least 160°F. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links eating undercooked ground beef with a higher risk of illness. Remember, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burgers.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.
- Cook fish to 145°F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
- Make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive) when cooking in a microwave oven. For best results, cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking.
- Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating. Heat other leftovers thoroughly to 165°F.
Here’s a great resource for you, provided from Partnership for Food Safety Education. Cook your meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and leftovers to safety using this chart as a guideline. It’s best to be safe and sure by measuring temperatures to determine when your foods are properly cooked. And, it’s easy, too! Print off the chart at the link below and grab your thermometer!