Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

You must cook pork to well-done for safety reasons

The long-held opinion that pork should be cooked thoroughly is based on the transmission of the parasite trichinella spiralis, whose larva can be present in pork meat (also in wild game). The cooking kills the parasite. But, it’s been known for a long time that the trichinella larvae are killed at temperatures considerably lower than required for well-done. Old habits die hard, however, and countless pork roasts have been cooked to leathery toughness as a result.

Many professional chefs and home cooks have long known that pork with some pink remaining in the center is perfectly safe. Now, the USDA is finally wising up—they have changed the recommended internal temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 145 degrees, with a 3-minute rest period after removing from the heat. Note that the 160 degree temperature is still recommended for ground pork.

6 responses to “You must cook pork to well-done for safety reasons

  1. Curtis Maybin July 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Is it true also the during the rest period the meat continues to cook. This is good to know.


  2. chris July 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I had an argument with a fellow chef about this. He said pork should be cooked medium rare and I said no it should be just pink the equivalent of medium well, he stressed to me people dont get sick from undercooked pork, i said yeah i know its the texture thats wrong with medium rare. Pork seems to have a jellie like texture when undercooked.

  3. kitchenmyths August 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Oh, I agree completely. Safe or not, I would not want to eat medium rare pork.

  4. Daniel May 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    вот тот код для настройки RSS, у меня он такой я искал в файле sidebar1.php там ничего нету про RSS, нашёл в файле heaedr.php вот такое, тут 2 раза 2поминается RSS, но куда вставлять ума не приложу, помогите пожалуйста, а то охота чтобы RSS была на блоге …[]

  5. Ron Hunter February 28, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t like medium rare meat because it is hard to cut, and hard to chew. Cooking is intended to correct this problem with meat, and make it easier to eat, and digest. Rare, and medium rare just don’t do the job that needs to be done. In spite of that, elitist chefs seem to think they know what people SHOULD like, such as eggs cooked so that the yellow runs around the plate. Some of us just don’t like to chase their food around the plate.

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