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How to tell if pork is cooked

Updated July 20, 2017

Pork is a great alternative to the more traditional poultry and red meat fare. Many people, however, are concerned about how to tell when pork is cooked fully. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many people were worried about trichinosis, a parasitic disease often caused by a worm found in undercooked pork and wild game. These days, though, the parasite is not as much of a concern and, if your pork is cooked fully, it is not something to worry about.

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  1. Purchase a food thermometer if you do not already have one. Measuring the temperature is the most accurate way to determine if your meat is cooked. The USDA recommends that all cooks use a thermometer, either digital or dial, as the device prevents overcooking and all guesswork involved.

  2. Place the food thermometer into the thickest part of the pork. Avoid touching any bone, fat or other non-meat parts of the cut, as this will throw off the reading. Once the internal temperature reaches 74 degrees Celsius, your pork is fully cooked and all harmful bacteria has been destroyed.

  3. Check visually to confirm the pork is done. Cut into the thickest part of the meat. The colouring should be largely white, although a trace of pink is okay.

  4. Warning

    Never rely on visual checks to determine if your pork is fully cooked. The only way to know for certain is with a food thermometer. Again, even when done, pork will have shades of pink in the meat.

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About the Author

Holden Reilly began writing professionally in 2010. His writing has been published on websites such as eHow and Answerbag. Originally from a small town in the Midwest, Reilly now resides in Northern California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross.

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