Pink pork is officially declared safe to eat by US food authority

Big-time chefs are wagging their virtual fingers in a chorus of 'I told you so,' and 'finally!' after the US food safety authority announced that pink pork is safe to eat.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised their cooking recommendations for meat, lowering the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 F (71 C)  to 145 F (63 C) .

In North America, the new guidelines throw a wrench in people's longstanding beliefs in pork doneness. Many a pork dish has been sent back to restaurant - and home - kitchens for bearing blushing pink flesh on the understanding that the meat could carry salmonella and food poisoning, as points out the USDA.

"Historically, consumers have viewed the color pink in pork to be a sign of undercooked meat. If raw pork is cooked to 145 °F (63 C) and allowed to rest for three minutes, it may still be pink but is safe to eat. The pink color can be due to the cooking method, added ingredients, or other factors," the agency said in an issued statement.

They also recommend allowing the meat to rest for three minutes after the internal temperature meets 145 F. This stage is important, says the USDA, as it's at this time that the residual, carryover heat will destroy pathogens.

Reaction to the news was swift on Twitter, with celebrity TV chefs like Alton Brown, Tom Colicchio and Chris Cosentino applauding the move.

"Finally, the government does something I completely and totally agree with," tweeted Twitter newcomer Alton Brown.

"USDA confirms what chefs have been saying for years Pink Pork is Safe," wrote Tom Colicchio.

Added Chris Cosentino, a chef whose MO is all about meat and offal bits  - the parts of a butchered animal that traditionally seemed inedible: "Finally the truth."

In addition to clarifying temperatures for pork, the announcement is also meant to simplify cooking guidelines for consumers. The 145 F (63 C) temperature applies to all whole cuts of meat, except for ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork. The temperature for all poultry products, including ground chicken and turkey, remains at 165 F.  A uniform three-minute rest period is also being recommended for all whole cut meats.

"We believe it will be much easier for consumers to remember and result in safer food preparation," said Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen in a statement. "Now there will only be 3 numbers to remember: 145 F (63 C) for whole meats, 160 F (71 C) for ground meats and 165 F  (74 C) for all poultry."

To measure the temperature accurately, place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat avoiding contact with bone, fat, or gristle. In a whole roast chicken, for example, the thermometer can be inserted between the leg and the breast.

The new cooking suggestions reflect the same standards the agency uses in federally inspected meat establishments, which also rely on a three-minute rest time to achieve safe pathogen reduction.

The agency also reminds consumers that appearance is not a reliable indicator of safety and that only a food thermometer can offer accurate results.

For more information, the USDA has created a virtual food safety representative, "Ask Karen," who can field questions via the web and mobile phones: AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov.

Here's a recap of cooking temperature recommendations for:

Whole meats, including pork: 145 F or 63 C and a three-minute rest time

Ground meats: 160 F  or 71 C

All poultry products: 165 F or 74 C

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_052411_01/index.asp

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Legal Print Room Manager

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Legal Print Room Manager is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Administration Team Leader

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrator / Co-ordinator

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This M&E Contractor is looking ...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'