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Best source on lowest safe meat internal temps

Question: Is there a universally accepted source for minimum safe internal meat temperatures? I want the stuff I make to be as good as I can make it, but safe too.[p]I have gone by some recommended temps for whole chicken, whole turkey, Pork Chops, which are lower than the old rules of thumb. Observation: A few degrees lower makes a huge difference in how juicy and the taste (better)[p]I have also read some comments in forums like this one, that contest are lowering some of these internal temperature requirements.[p]Here are a couple of examples of what I am talking about:[p]Whole chicken or turkey 165 vs 180[p]Pork Chops 140 -to 150 max (that souce said bad stuff is killed at 137)
others suggest higher[p]
Any suggestions?


  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Jack,[p]You are in the right ball-park. The old gov't numbers are over kill in most cases and most new reports confirm it. I can't point to any sources, but others might be able to.[p]Tim
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,489
    Your sources sound accurate. At least those temps (165 chicken, 145 for pork) are what I have been following for a few years now. If the meat has been handled properly, those temps should be safe. Of course you want to make sure your temp reading comes from the "coolest" part of your meat.[p]Uncle Sam and Aunt Ella (Sam & Ella), and the Tricky Noses should not visit you if you follow those guidelines.[p]End-o-the-weekend beers to you.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    Jack,[p]According to the National Pork Board, trichinae is indeed killed at 137º. They also claim that trichinae is no longer present in pork products. I do see they still recommend taking pork to 160º, which is far too high.[p]As to your comment about contests...not sure what you mean here. No contest has ever dictated food temps, other than a safe holding temp of 140º or above.[p]Stogie
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Jack, Here is a great site on Food Safety. They have several links to BBQ food safety in particular. The important thing to realize is that there is NO magic temperature. All of the temps posted are ones that have been found to keep risks down to an acceptable (read that very, very, very, very small) level. At temperatures 5 degrees below those minimums the chances of getting some type of food borne illness is small - but orders of magnitude greater than that at the published minimum. At temperatures 5 dgrees above the published minimum, you may still get a food borned illness but the chances are extremely (and I mean extremely) remote. The minimum temperatures are good to follow but also follwo your common sense. If meat ever smells or taste significantly different from what you expect - don't eat it. It's just not worth it.

    [ul][li]Government Food Safety Site[/ul]
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