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Publication #FCS8633

Food Safety: Cook It Safely!1

Jennifer Hillan and Linda B. Bobroff2

How can you reduce the risk of getting sick from bacteria in food? Cook food to a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria! Cook foods to these safe temperatures:

Table 1. 

Minimum Safe Internal Temperatures for Various Foods



Ground beef, pork, veal, lamb


Ground turkey, chicken


All whole cuts beef, veal, lamb, and pork chop

145 + rest time*



Ham—fresh, raw


Ham—pre-cooked (to reheat)


Eggs—cook until white & yolk are firm

Egg dishes


Fish—cook until opaque & flakes easily with a fork


Leftovers, stuffing, casseroles


*Cook these to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F before removing from heat source, with a three-minute rest time before consuming or carving. “Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source, and before carving or consuming. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.


You can't just look at food to tell if it is safely cooked, so use a food thermometer. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the food—away from bone, fat, and gristle.



La versión en español de este documento es Seguridad Alimentaria: ¡Cocinel de una manera segura! (FCS8633-Span).This document is FCS8633, one in a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: February 2000. Revised: August 2006, May 2010, October 2011. Visit the EDIS website at


First edition by Jennifer Hillan, MSH, RD, LD/N, former ENAFS nutrition educator; subsequent revisions by Linda B. Bobroff, PhD, RD, LD/N; Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; University of Florida; Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.