What are the Temperatures for Meat Doneness?

Food borne illness is usually caused by undercooked meat, fish or poultry. The only way to know for sure that the meat is cooked to the proper temperature is to use an internal meat thermometer.


According to the USDA website an internal meat thermometer should always be used to determine when meat is done. While some cooks may insist they can tell when meat is done by looking at it, this is not an accurate way to determine the doneness of meat.

Thermometer Use

Purchase an instant read meat thermometer at any grocery store or retail outlet. Use the thermometer to take the internal temperature of the meat before you think it is done. This will not only determine the meat is cooked, but keep you from over cooking the meat and losing flavour. To use the internal thermometer; place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, while making sure the thermometer is not touching any bone or gristle.

Meat Temperatures

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection website recommends the following minimum internal meat temperatures to determine that the meat is thoroughly cooked: steaks and roasts, 62.8 degrees C;

fish, 62.8 degrees C; pork, 71.1 degrees C; minced meat, 71.1 degrees C; egg dishes, 71.1 degrees C; chicken breasts, 73.9 degrees C; whole poultry, 73.9 degrees C.

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About the Author

Kay Baxter is a freelance writer that has been writing articles since 1999 on a variety of subjects such as small equine and art instruction. Her book "Miniature Horse Conformation" was published in 2007. Baxter has also had articles published by "Better Homes & Garden" and "The Horse Magazine." Baxter attended Illinois Central College, majoring in art.