A Quick Guide to Safe Cooking Temperatures

For most of us, we spend more time sharing food with others during the holidays than any other time of the year. Here’s a guide to make sure the food you bring to your family’s next event is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Minimum Cooking Temperatures

  • All Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)

  • 165° F

  • Casseroles and Leftovers

  • 165° F

  • Egg Dishes

  • 160° F

  • Ground Beef (hamburgers, meatballs)

  • 160° F

  • Steaks and Roasts

  • Medium-Rare: 145° F

  • Medium: 160° F

  • Well-Done: 170° F

  • Ham

  • 140° F if pre-cooked, 145° F if raw

  • Fish

  • 145° F

  • Flesh should be opaque and flake easily with a fork

  • Shellfish

  • Cook until flesh is opaque and white

Temping Tips

  • Be sure that your food thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat or dish

  • It’s best to check in multiple areas, particularly if the food is irregularly shaped

How to Calibrate Your Food Thermometer

  • Fill a large glass with crushed ice. Pour tap water into the glass and stir. Dip your thermometer two inches into the glass without touching the bottom. After 30 seconds, it should read 32° F.

Holding Food

  • If cold and hot foods are not kept at temperature – cold foods below 40° F, hot foods at least 135° F – they should be stored away after two hours

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