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There’s one major key to success while cooking at home: food safety. This will ensure that your meat, poultry, seafood, egg dishes, leftovers and casseroles are properly cooked. If not cooked to the proper internal temperature, you risk sickness and even in some cases disease. If you’re unfamiliar with the proper temperatures to cook meat, chicken and fish, you’re in the right place!

Food Thermometers

To measure the internal temperature of cooked foods, use a food thermometer. There are many different options for food thermometers, including:

  • Dial oven-safe thermometers – Remains in place as the food cooks with a dial-face.
  • Digital instant-read thermometer – Stays in food while cooking, but has a digital face instead of a rotary dial.
  • Dial instant-read thermometers – Cannot stay in food while cooking, but can be used after removing food from cooking.
  • More options include: A thermometer-fork combination, microwave-safe thermometer and a disposable temperature indicator.

Cooking Meat and Meat Mixtures

Steak on GrillNext time you’re cooking ground meat and meat mixtures, such as beef, pork, veal or lamb, it’s important you ensure that it’s safely cooked. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. You cannot tell if a food is properly cooked by looking at it.

  • Ground beef, pork, veal and lamb – 160° F
  • Steaks, roasts and chops – 145° F. Resting time – three minutes (during rest time, its temperature will remain constant or continue to rise, allowing harmful germs to be destroyed.)

Cooking Poultry

Turkey with thermometerMicroorganisms that can often make you sick are found on chicken. Poultry is no different than red/other meat when it comes to the eye test. A perfectly cooked chicken might still appear pink next to the bone. A vein near a chicken leg may even show blood. As with red/other meat, there is only one way to properly tell if your chicken is cooked – your food thermometer.

  • Whole chicken and turkey– 165° F
  • Poultry breasts, roasts – 165° F
  • Poultry thighs, legs and wings – 165° F
  • Goose and duck – 165° F
  • Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) – 165° F

Cooking Pork and Ham

Pork with ThermometerPork and ham can be fresh, cured or cured and smoked. The typical color for cured ham is deep rose or pink. Non-cured ham (also called fresh ham) is often pale pink or beige. Dry cured hams can range from a pink to a mahogany color. Ham requires a resting time. During rest time, its temperature will remain constant or continue to rise, allowing harmful germs to be destroyed. Listed below are safe temperatures and their resting times.

  • Fresh pork – 145° F. Resting time – three minutes.
  • Fresh ham (raw) – 145° F. Resting time – three minutes.
  • Precooked ham (to reheat) – 140° F, no resting time.


Shrimp on GrillMost seafood should be cooked to the same internal temperature of 145° F. Uncooked spoiled seafood will have an ammonia odor. If you smell ammonia, do not eat it. If you’re without a food thermometer, there are a few other ways to determine if seafood is done.

  • Fish – The flesh should be opaque and separate easily with a fork.
  • Shrimp and Lobster – The flesh should become pearly and opaque.
  • Scallops – The flesh should become pearly and opaque.
  • Clams, Mussels and Oysters – The shells will open during cooking. Make sure to throw out ones that don’t open.

Additional Cooking Temperatures

Listed above are the most popular food temperatures customers ask us for. However, there are a wide variety of other foods, including some holiday favorites listed below. None of the items listed below require any resting time.

  • Casseroles – 165° F
  • Eggs – No listed temperature. Cook until yolk and white are firm.
  • Egg dishes – 160° F
  • Leftovers – 165° F

We hope our food temperature guide helped you learn a thing or two you didn’t know about ensuring that your food is cooked to the proper temperatures. What kind of food thermometer do you use? Let us know in the comments below.

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, son and their dog. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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