Using a thermometer to ensure meat and poultry products are cooked to a proper internal temperature is one of the most important food safety steps people can take, yet research by the International Food Information Council Foundation shows that only 36 percent of Americans make this a regular habit. With that in mind, the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) has released a new video for September’s National Food Safety Education Month with tips for thermometer usage in a variety of meat and poultry products including beef and turkey burgers, pork chops, steaks, chicken breasts and roasts.
“People often believe they can tell when meat or poultry is cooked by looking at the color or by touching it, but using a thermometer is the only way to truly ensure safety,” said AMI Foundation Chief Scientist Betsy Booren, Ph.D. “It’s an easy step to take when cooking that can make a significant difference.”
The video also discusses the recommended internal temperatures for various cuts of meat and poultry. Recent AMI polling showed that only 39 percent of Americans know the recommended internal cooking temperatures of 160 degrees F. for hamburgers and 165 degrees F. for turkey burgers.
Other key food safety steps include keeping meat and poultry cold before cooking; separate raw and ready to eat foods; clean hands, utensils and cooking board with hot soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry, and refrigerate leftovers within two hours.