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How do you determine whether a ham is fully baked?

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Quick Answer

A ham is fully baked and safe for consumption when the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. For already-smoked hams that are being reheated, the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit before it is eaten, as suggested by the USDA.

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How do you determine whether a ham is fully baked?
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Full Answer

Hams are sold in a variety of different ways that many consumers find confusing. Fully cooked ham can be eaten directly out of the package, but partially-cooked ham must be cooked until the internal temperature reaches the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines. Many hams are labeled as either "cured," "fresh" or "smoked," however, none of these labels mean that the ham is safe for consumption without cooking unless the package clearly states that the ham is "fully cooked."

Undercooked ham can carry pathogens that are harmful for humans if they are consumed. For this reason, it is important to make sure that a ham is fully cooked and free of pathogens before it is eaten. Generally speaking, the only way to make sure that a ham is fully cooked is to measure the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. When measuring the internal temperature, the tip of the thermometer should be stuck into the middle of the thickest part of the ham, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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