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Cooking Temperature Expected to Boost Pork Sales

by 5m Editor
2 June 2011, at 9:27am

US - The National Pork Board is confident a reduction in the recommended cooking temperature for pork will result in improved consumer satisfaction and increased sales of pork, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service has determined it's safe to cook pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit followed by a three minute rest period, a 15 degree reduction from what was previously recommended.

Teresa Roof, the manager of public relations with the US-based National Pork Board, notes the change has been in the works for quite some time.

Teresa Roof-National Pork Board

Back in 2007 the Pork Checkoff funded a research project that was conducted by Ohio State University to measure consumer eating preferences.

As part of that project the university researchers tested how the various end point cooking temperatures affected the eating preferences but what we needed to know is if temperatures below 160 would be safe if that turned out to be the consumers' preference.

From there the Pork Checkoff did a research project with Exponent Incorporated which is an engineering and scientific consulting firm and what Exponent did was conduct that risk assessment to evaluate any food safety implications of cooking temperatures within that range of 145 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and that risk assessment found that cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees was equivalent to cooking pork to 160.

From there Checkoff funded research done by Texas A and M supported the fact that the meat temperature continues to rise after being removed from the heat and the reality that the resting time between cooking and eating is at least that long.

Therefore when we presented all this research to FSIS they agreed to the cooking temperature for pork being lowered to that 145 with that three minute rest time.


Ms Roof says food service has been cooking pork to 145 degrees for some time and suggests the reduced cooking temperature followed by a three minute rest period will allow consumers to have the same eating experience that they have in a restaurant at home.