May 25, 2011
Until this week, the government has said that pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160. But now they’ve reduced it to 145.
Pamela Johnson, director of consumer communications for the National Pork Board:
Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience. The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature.
Food industry professionals are generally pleased, it seems.
Patrick Quakenbush, chef of Zed451:
I think it is good that they finally realized that trichinosis has not been around since the 50′s and that you don’t need to cook pork till it is done… I love my medium rare pork chops!”
Paul Kahan, chef at Blackbird:
I’m ecstatic. I do a lot of work with The American Pork Council, and I know this is something they’ve been working on for a long time. Frankly, I never cook pork to 160 degrees, that’s just hammering it. If you cook it to 138 and let it coast to 145, that’s pretty close to where you need to be.
* * * * *