Safe Cooking Temperatures

Using a food thermometer

  • Insert the thermometer through the thickest part of the meat, all the way to the middle, not touching any bone.
  • For burgers, insert food thermometer through the side of the patty.
  • Check each piece separately if you have more than one piece.
  • Use a digital thermometer for more accurate readings.

Cooking temperatures chart

Beef, veal and lamb
Ground meat (burgers, meatballs, sausages)71°C (160°F)
Pieces and whole cutsmedium-rare
63°C (145°F)
71°C (160°F)
well done
77°C (170°F)
Mechanically tenderized beef and veal (turn mechanically tenderized steak over at least twice during cooking)63°C (145°F)
Pork (ham, pork loin, ribs)
Ground pork (burgers, meatballs, sausages)71°C (160°F)
Pieces and whole cuts71°C (160°F)
Poultry  (chicken, turkey, duck)
Ground poultry (burgers, meatballs, sausages)74°C (165°F)
Frozen raw breaded chicken products (nuggets, fingers, strips, burgers)74°C (165°F)
Pieces (wings, breasts, legs, thighs)74°C (165°F)
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)74°C (165°F)
Whole82°C (180°F)
Egg dishes74°C (165°F)
Fish70°C (158°F)
(shrimp, lobster, crab, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters)
74°C (165°F)
Discard any that do not open when cooked
Leftovers74°C (165°F)
Hot dogs
Hot dogs74°C (165°F)
Game meats
Ground meat, meat mixtures, ground venison and sausage74°C (165°F)
Deer, elk, moose, caribou/reindeer, antelope and pronghorn74°C (165°F)
Large game (Bear, bison, musk-ox, walrus, etc.)74°C (165°F)
Small game (Rabbit, muskrat, beaver, etc.)74°C (165°F)
Game birds/waterfowl (wild turkey, duck, goose, partridge and pheasant)
Whole82°C (180°F)
Breasts and roasts74°C (165°F)
Thighs, wings74°C (165°F)
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)74°C (165°F)

Cleaning and preparation

  • Clean your food thermometer in warm, soapy water before each use.
  • Always wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • If you’ve used a plate or utensils to handle raw food, don’t use them again until you’ve washed them thoroughly.
  • Use separate cutting boards for produce and raw meat.
  • Use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily. Avoid using sponges, as they are harder to keep bacteria-free.
  • Sanitize countertops, cutting boards, and utensils before and after preparing food.
  • Keep cold food cold and hot food hot, so that your food never reaches the “temperature danger zone” where bacteria can grow quickly and cause food poisoning.