Special Report

The Right Temperature for 20 Kinds of Meat and Poultry

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Pork roasts and chops
> Internal temperature: 145º (rest for 3 minutes)

For years, the USDA told consumers to cook whole-muscle pork cuts to a temperature of 160º, but in 2011, after several studies proved that there was minimal danger in cooking the meat to 145º, they issued new guidelines resulting in the current recommendation.

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Turkey, ground
> Internal temperature: 165º

Though turkey may not be contaminated with bacteria as often as chicken is, the ground meat should still be cooked to 165º — and according to the Food Network Kitchen, 170º to 175º is preferable.

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Turkey, whole
> Internal temperature: 165º

These big birds really should be cooked to 165º, even if that means that the white meat dries out by the time the dark meat is cooked through. (This situation will be familiar to anyone who’s ever had a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner — but that’s what the gravy’s for.)

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Veal, ground
> Internal temperature: 160º

Ground veal should follow the same rules that ground beef does — 160º for well-done (and safest), 140º for medium, 130º for medium-rare.

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Veal steaks, chops, roasts
> Internal temperature: 145º (rest for 3 minutes)

The same rules apply here as for beef: 135º to 140º for medium, 130º to 135º for medium-rare, and — though diners don’t usually eat veal quite as rare as beef, 125º plus a three-minute rest period after cooking for rare.

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