Q:

What are the USDA guidelines for safe meat temperatures?

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Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that for safe consumption, meats be heated to a minimum internal temperature ranging from 140 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of meat and its preparation. Additionally, most cooked meats should be allowed to rest for a few minutes before consumption.

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What are the USDA guidelines for safe meat temperatures?
Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The USDA states that unprocessed beef, pork, veal and lamb should be heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and left to rest for three minutes before consumption. Ground meats should be heated to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. A fully cooked ham must be reheated to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or 165 degrees Fahrenheit if it was packaged in a facility that the USDA does not inspect.

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