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Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 05/25/2011

USDA revises guidelines on cooking pork

The USDA on Tuesday issued a modification of its guidelines for cooking meat to a safe temperature.
As luck would have it, that's the same day my colleague Carolyn Butler, who writes the AnyBody column for The Washington Post's Health & Science section, ran a column about safety in food preparation. Timing was such that the column didn't reflect the USDA's update.
Here's what Carolyn reports:

The discussion about food safety continues to evolve: On Tuesday, the USDA revised its recommended safe cooking temperature for all whole cuts of meat -- including pork, steaks, roasts, and chops -- to 145 degrees F, with the caveat that you need to let them sit for a full three minutes before carving or digging in. This is actually a lower recommended temperature for pork (from 160 degrees F), but with the addition of the rest time, which allows the meat to rise to the proper temperature. Even if it's pink at that point, it's okay to eat.
In a press release, Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen explained the change: "With a single temperature for all whole cuts of meat and uniform 3 minute stand time, we believe it will be much easier for consumers to remember and result in safer food preparation."Now there will only be 3 numbers to remember: 145 for whole meats, 160 for ground meats and 165 for all poultry."

By  |  12:04 PM ET, 05/25/2011

 
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