“What temperature should pork be cooked to?” That’s a big question that I recently had, so I did some research before cooking up some pork in the kitchen.
In years past, the general public were advised to cook their pork to an internal temperature of anywhere from 160° to 180°. In addition, it was believed that there should be no pink color left in the pork, or it was said to be undercooked. The reason for this is that people were afraid of contracting trichinosis from their pork. Trichinosis was a disease caused by microscopic worms that had infected the animals and could then be spread to humans. Because of stricter governmental regulations in raising the animals and the way they are fed, trichinosis is no longer a threat to the public.
Just this year, in May 2011 (right around the time of our wedding actually), the USDA lowered the temperature that pork should be cooked to. They now recommend that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° and it is okay if pork is a little pink inside! They also recommend a three-minute “rest” time before cutting your pork, to ensure that it stays at this temperature or raises a few degrees for this time frame. This new cooking temperature is completely safe, will keep the meat tender and juicy, and will eliminate overcooking and drying out. Good to know!
How can you make sure your pork is cooked thoroughly? Use your meat thermometer!
Stay tuned to Food Marriage for a follow up post on a pork tenderloin recipe early next week!!