The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating its recommendation for safely cooking pork, steaks, roasts, and chops. USDA recommends cooking all whole cuts of meat to 145°F as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allowing the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming.
This change does not apply to ground meats, including ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork, which should be cooked to 160 °F and do not require a rest time. The safe cooking temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, remains at 165 °F.
"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," says Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen. "Now there will only be 3 numbers to remember: 145 for whole meats, 160 for ground meats and 165 for all poultry."
USDA is lowering the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160°F to 145°F and adding a three-minute rest time. The safe temperature for cuts of beef, veal, and lamb remains unchanged at 145°F, but the department is adding a three-minute rest time as part of its cooking recommendations. Cooking raw pork, steaks, roasts, and chops to 145°F with the addition of a three-minute rest time will result in a product that is both microbiologically safe and at its best quality.