Pink is in again! Well, for pork at least. Newly revised recommendations from the USDA have confirmed that it's safe to eat pork cooked to 145ºF, which is 15ºF lower than previously advised. For years we've been drying out our chops in fear that they would make us sick, but for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend we can all enjoy a tasty cut of grilled pork, now juicier than ever.
According to the new guidelines, all cuts of pork can be safely cooked to 145ºF, which is the same temperature that the USDA recommends for lamb, beef, and veal. Undersecretary Elisabeth Hagen states that having all of these meats at the same recommendedTel temperature "will be much easier for consumers to remember and result in safer food preparation."
The USDA has also released a recommendation of a "rest time" of three minutes for pork, lamb, beef, and veal, during which these meats should be left to stand at their final temperatures after they're removed from their heat sources. During this rest, the meat will continue to rise in temperature, killing pathogens that could potentially make us - and our families - sick. Despite these changes, the recommended cooking temperatures for all types of ground meats and chicken have remained the same. Check out our story on the best food thermometers to make sure you cook your meat as precisely as possible.
As chefs have been saying for years, pork served a bit on the pink side is flavorful and delicious, but now it's also officially safe to eat. So whether you're planning on lighting up the grill during this Memorial Day weekend, or looking forward to eating a meal out, you no longer have to compromise taste for safety.
If you'll be entertaining in the backyard, cook Grilled Pork Chops with Mango Sauce to the new temperature recs and see how good pork can be. Check out our Summer Grilling Cookbook for other recipe ideas.
- By Candice Reeves
Will you be cooking pork this holiday weekend? Share your grilling menu with us in the comments.
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