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Old 05-24-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
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USDA Lowers Pork Temp to 145

Today the USDA announced that it has lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking pork to 145 degrees. That's a change from the agency's longstanding guideline and means pork will be held to the same standard as beef, veal and lamb. Wohoo! Finally an end to grey dried and tough pork.

USDA Lowers Pork's Minimum Cooking Temperature To 145 F

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Old 05-24-2011, 11:30 AM   #2
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That's good news. Thanks for posting this Janet.

As the article said, the hard part is going to be changing the practices of home cooks around the nation. There are countless people who will continue to overcook pork "just to be on the safe side". The USDA has already built in a safety factor. The 145 F temp. is higher than necessary to kill bacteria.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
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I remember my MIL cooking a precooked ham. She was very diligent about making sure the center got to that 160 mark with her meat thermometer. I tried to gently let her know it was precooked so it just needed to be warmed. We had some really dry ham!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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While it is great that they changed it I do not think it will really change many people's habits. Those in the know already have been cooking their pork to a more reasonable temp. Most of those that have still been overcooking will probably continue because that is a hard habit to break.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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Glad they did, and it's about time! 145* has been considered safe "for those who knew" for what...10 + years now? ~~ Bravo!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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I made some thin pork steaks slightly browned and a lovely pink yesterday. So tender flavorful and juicy. I'm glad the USDA agrees!
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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I don't believe <145 degrees is a safe temperature to kill all pathogenic bacteria. If it was, there would be no reason to have to cook poultry to 165 degrees and Ground meats (beef, pork,) to 160.

The new standard is for "whole" cuts of meat. That would be a roast or a loin. The science behind this is that bacteria does not live inside the muscle but may well live on it. By the time the roast has an internal temp of 145 degrees, the outside where the bacteria may have been is well over 160. This is why beef can be cooked to only 125 or 130 and be considered safe. In the past, the concern with pork was related to trichinella worms which travel through the blood stream and do end up in the muscle.

So taking a pork loin and cutting it into a flat piece and then rolling it with some sort of struffing would require the 160 degree temp to be safe I believe.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #8
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Trichinella spiralis is inactivated in less than a minute at 140 F. This would suggest 145 F is a safe temperature.

Salmonella, a problem with poultry requires a temperature over 160 F to achieve the same result.

At least that's my understanding.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:53 PM   #9
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I hadn't thought trichinella was a concern in years.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I hadn't thought trichinella was a concern in years.

It really isn't. The number of pork related cases reported is practically nil and has been for some time. But the fear of it is the reason the older generation got into the habit of overcooking pork.
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