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USDA says 145 degrees okay for pork

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Not sure if this was posted previously or not.  


Clipped from



USDA says 145 degrees okay for pork    

Posted May 24, 2011

New cooking guidelines from the nation's food-safety agency confirm Pork Checkoff research that shows pork can be consumed safely when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.

The guidelines were announced May 24th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

The new recommended temperature is a significant 15 degrees less than what was previously recommended and typically will yield a finished product that is pinker in color than most home cooks are accustomed to.

"Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience," said Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Truman, Minn., and chair of the Checkoff's Domestic Marketing Committee. "The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy - and safe - temperature."

The revised recommendation applies to pork whole-muscle cuts, such as loin, chops and roasts. Ground pork, like all ground meat, should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless of cut or cooking method, both USDA and the National Pork Board recommend using a digital cooking thermometer to ensure an accurate final temperature.

The USDA guidelines for pork now mirror doneness advice for other meats.




post #2 of 10

We have had this post before but no harm in reminding everyone.


The other thing to remember is that this is for USDA inspected pork from reputable manufacturers.  You should be much more careful with pork from small farmers, homegrown pork or wild game.

post #3 of 10

Al hit it.  We have very few reported cases of trichinosis now, and many of them come from wild game.  Also note that this recommendation is only for intact muscle meat and will not apply to sausage, stuffed items and anything that is mechanically tenderized or injected.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #4 of 10

I've been smoking mine till 145* ( chops, steaks) for a long time. smile.gif

post #5 of 10


post #6 of 10


post #7 of 10

alblancher makes a great point!


Thanks Al,


post #8 of 10

From what I understand FDA has been allowing the lower temps for a while.  Many chefs have used the lower temps, this is just the final word by  the USDA

post #9 of 10

Why does this exclude ground things, because of the fat?

post #10 of 10

Because Ground meat uses a different rule than whole muscle.  By grinding you have introduced surface bacteria all through the meat...

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