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

 

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    General Cover Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?