Cooking Temperatures for Meat

Using a food thermometer

Checking the temperature of your cooked meat and poultry with a food thermometer is the only way to make sure your food is at a safe internal cooking temperature. Safe internal cooking temperatures vary for different types of foods, so it's important that you know what internal temperature your food needs to reach to be safe to eat.

While there are many types of food thermometers, digital food thermometers are considered the most accurate because they provide instant, exact temperature readings. They are reliable tools that you can use to make sure that your foods reach internal cooking temperatures high enough to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Here are a few tips to follow when checking to see if your food has reached the necessary safe internal cooking temperature:

- Remove your food from the heat and insert the thermometer through the thickest part of the meat, all the way to the middle.

- Make sure that the thermometer is not touching any bones, since they heat up more quickly than the meat and could give you a false reading.

- If you have more than one piece of meat, poultry or seafood, be sure to check each piece separately, as temperatures may differ in each piece.

- For hamburgers, insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the patty, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers designed for testing whole poultry and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing beef patties.

Beef, veal and lamb

Medium-rare63°C (145°F)

Medium71°C (160°F)

Well done77°C (170°F)


Pork (pieces and whole cuts)71°C (160°F)

Ground meat and meat mixtures

Beef, veal (including mechanically tenderized), lamb and pork71°C (160°F)

Poultry (for example, chicken, turkey)74°C (165°F)


Pieces74°C (165°F)

Whole85°C (185°F)

Egg dishes

Egg dishes74°C (165°F)

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