Experts say that common food safety mistakes, especially underestimating cooking times or overlooking the need to check cooked temperatures, increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Meat scientists and researchers at Kansas State University determined that ground beef browns at different rates, so that browning, long considered an indication that ground beef is cooked, is no longer an accurate indicator of doneness.
With meats and poultry, the only sure way to test safety and doneness is by using a meat thermometer. Primary foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli 0157:H7, are heat sensitive. That means that cooking foods to recommended temperatures will kill any pathogens that may be present.
For ground beef, the recommended cooked temperature is 160 degrees F. For beef, veal and lamb roasts, steaks and chops, and all pork, medium is 160 degrees F. and well done is 170 degrees F. All poultry should reach a minimum of 165 degrees F. Increase cooking time for frozen or partially frozen meats.
Experts recommend the following tips to keep your summer meals safe:
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