Smart Food: Food Safety, Temperature Reading is Crucial!

Whether you are cooking up some burgers, chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin, it is crucial that you adhere to the recommended guidelines for meat temperature.  Carelessness with this could result in a health hazard to those who would be eating your wonderful cuisine.

According to the USDA, “Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown quickly and may appear done on the outside, but still may not have reached a safe minimum internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria.” Using a meat thermometer is the Smart Mama way of being certain of a meat’s doneness.  You need to place the thermometer at the thickest part of the meat. This will help ensure accuracy when reading the temperature.

Here is a general temperature chart to see more detail on cooking temperatures.

Beef, Veal, Lamb, Steaks, & Roasts



Ground Beef, Veal or Lamb

Turkey, Chicken & Duck







A printable PDF of this information is available at

Smart Mamas, please use this chart and get a meat thermometer in your kitchen!  There are different types of meat thermometers on the market.  Use whichever meets your needs and style.  I have a few in my drawer!

My participation in the Hormel Foods Extended Blogger Program has provided me with some excellent tips for cooking meats that all Smart Mamas should follow.  These tips for staying safe, can keep the extreme food safety hazards from ruining summertime grilling and more!

Meat Cooking Tips

  • For better browning, pat dry beef steaks, pork chops, cubes, and roasts with a paper towel.
  • When roasting or broiling, place beef or pork on the rack in the broiler or roasting pan to allow fat to drip off during cooking.
  • Salt beef or pork after cooking or browning.  Salt draws out moisture and inhibits browning.
  • Turn steaks, roasts, or chops with tongs.  Do not use a fork.  This pierces the meat and allows juices to escape.
  • Turn ground beef and pork with a spatula.  Do not flatten patties when cooking.  This allows juices to escape.
  • Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, not resting in fat or touching bone.
  • The secret to moist meatloaf and meatballs is to mix lightly.  Over-mixing will result in a firm, compact texture.
  • Roasts become firmer and easier to carve when they are allowed to stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

I hope these tips and temperature cahrt will better prepare you in your cooking adventures.  You are a Smart Mama who must have food safety as a priority in your kitchen!

Disclosure: I am currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Blogger Program and this post is part of my involvement in the Group. While Hormel Foods provides me material and necessary resources to complete various activities, all statements and sentiments stated are my own.


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