Details Button>

"The Hawaii Reporter" serves as a prominent news publisher dedicated to providing a nuanced and comprehensive perspective on the diverse happenings within the Hawaiian Islands. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, this news outlet delivers timely and accurate information, keeping the community well-informed about local events, cultural affairs, and key developments shaping Hawaii's dynamic landscape.

Which Food Must Be Cooked to at Least 145°F (63°C)?

In the realm of culinary safety, ensuring that food reaches the appropriate internal temperature is paramount. Among the key temperature benchmarks, 145°F (63°C) stands out as a critical threshold for various types of food. Let’s delve into the specifics of which food must be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C) to guarantee both palatability and safety.

Understanding the Importance of Temperature

Before we explore the specific foods that require cooking to 145°F (63°C) or higher, it’s essential to grasp why temperature matters in food preparation. Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens present in raw foods can cause foodborne illnesses when ingested. Proper cooking temperatures effectively kill these harmful microorganisms, reducing the risk of food poisoning.

The Danger Zone

The danger zone for food lies between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C). Within this temperature range, bacteria multiply rapidly, significantly increasing the likelihood of foodborne illness. Cooking food to temperatures above 145°F (63°C), such as those which food must be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C), ensures that it exits the danger zone, rendering it safer for consumption.

Several foods require a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption, but it’s important to consider the specific context to provide accurate information. Here’s a breakdown:


  • Seafood: All fish, shellfish, and crustaceans (shrimp, lobster, crab, etc.) must reach 145°F (63°C) for 15 seconds to kill harmful bacteria like Vibrio.
  • Steaks/Chops: Uncooked cuts of pork, beef, veal, and lamb (steaks, chops, roasts) require 145°F (63°C) for 3 minutes. Ground meats from these animals should reach 160°F (71°C).
  • Eggs: Scrambled eggs and other dishes with uncooked eggs need to cook to 145°F (63°C) to avoid Salmonella risk.

Additional Information:

  • Resting: For some foods, like meats, resting after cooking allows juices to redistribute, ensuring even cooking and doneness throughout.
  • Personal Preference: While 145°F (63°C) is safe, some prefer their food cooked to higher temperatures for texture or taste. However, exceeding safe temperatures for extended periods can affect flavor and texture.
  • Sources: Always refer to reliable sources like the USDA or FDA for specific cooking temperatures based on the food and preparation method.

For your specific needs:

Please provide more details about the food you’re interested in, such as the type, cut, preparation method, and whether it’s pre-cooked or raw. This will allow me to offer more accurate information and cooking tips.

Foods Requiring Cooking to 145°F (63°C)

1. Beef

Beef, particularly ground beef, must be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C) to eliminate harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Ground beef poses a higher risk of contamination due to the increased surface area exposed to potential pathogens during processing.

2. Pork

Similar to beef, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Pork products such as pork chops, roasts, and ground pork must reach this temperature to ensure safety. Achieving the recommended temperature is crucial not only for eliminating harmful bacteria but also for enhancing the flavor and tenderness of the meat.

3. Lamb

Lamb, like other red meats, requires thorough cooking to 145°F (63°C) to kill any bacteria present. Whether grilling lamb chops or preparing a lamb roast, achieving the recommended temperature is crucial for food safety. It’s important to note that lamb dishes such as kebabs and stews also necessitate reaching this temperature to ensure thorough cooking and eliminate any potential health risks associated with undercooked meat.

4. Fish

Fish and shellfish, although delicate in texture, are not exempt from temperature guidelines. Cooking fish to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) helps destroy parasites and bacteria, safeguarding against foodborne illnesses.

5. Shellfish

Shellfish, including clams, mussels, and oysters, should be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C) to eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses. Proper cooking methods, such as boiling or steaming, ensure that shellfish reach the required temperature.

6. Eggs

While many enjoy eggs cooked to varying degrees of doneness, dishes containing eggs should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safety. This temperature eliminates the risk of Salmonella contamination, common in raw or undercooked eggs.

7. Poultry

Chicken, turkey, and other poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure thorough cooking and eliminate harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter. While 145°F (63°C) is sufficient for some red meats, poultry requires higher temperatures due to its susceptibility to bacterial contamination.

8. Wild Game

Wild game meats such as venison, elk, and rabbit also require cooking to at least 145°F (63°C) for safety. Proper handling and cooking techniques, including ensuring thorough cooking throughout the meat and avoiding cross-contamination, are essential when preparing these meats to minimize the risk of foodborne illness. It’s crucial to follow recommended guidelines and use a reliable food thermometer to confirm that the internal temperature reaches the required 145°F (63°C) or higher.

Additional Considerations

1. Use a Food Thermometer

To accurately gauge the internal temperature of cooked foods, invest in a reliable food thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the food, away from bones or gristle, to obtain an accurate reading. This step is crucial for ensuring that the food reaches the recommended temperature, particularly for meats like poultry and pork, which food must be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C), to guarantee food safety.

2. Allow for Resting Time

After removing meat from heat, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This resting period allows the internal temperature to stabilize, ensuring that the meat remains juicy and flavorful. Additionally, during this time, the juices redistribute throughout the meat, enhancing its overall taste and tenderness.


In conclusion, numerous which food must be cooked to at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure both palatability and safety. From beef and pork to poultry and seafood, reaching this temperature threshold is critical for eliminating harmful bacteria and reducing the risk of foodborne illness. By understanding the importance of temperature control and following proper cooking guidelines, individuals can enjoy delicious meals with confidence in their safety.

For more information on food safety and cooking techniques, consider exploring resources from reputable organizations such as the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration).