Information Update - Consumers Encouraged to Use Digital Food Thermometers When Cooking

Feb 21, 2013, 14:15 ET from Health Canada

OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Health Canada is reminding Canadians that the only reliable way to make sure their meat, poultry, fish and seafood dishes reach safe internal cooking temperatures before serving is to use a digital food thermometer.

There are many different types of food thermometers currently available on the Canadian market, but digital ones are considered the most accurate because they provide instant and exact temperature readings.

While we often look for other signs that our food is cooked properly (for example, the colour of the meat and its juices), these methods can't accurately confirm that harmful bacteria have been killed. Bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, which can cause foodborne illness, can't survive at certain high temperatures.

Safe internal cooking temperatures are different for different types of foods, so it's important to know what internal temperature your food needs to reach to be safe to eat.

The following table indicates the safe internal cooking temperatures for common foods:

Food Temperature
Beef, veal and lamb (pieces and whole cuts)

  • Medium rare
  • Medium
  • Well done

  •  63°C (145°F)
  • 71°C (160°F)
  • 77°C (170°F)
Pork (pieces and whole cuts)
  • 71°C (160°F)
Poultry (for example, chicken, turkey, duck)

  • Pieces
  • Whole

  • 74°C (165°F)
  • 85°C (185°F)
Ground meat and meat mixtures
(for example, burgers, sausages, meatballs, meatloaf, casseroles)

  • Beef, veal, lamb and pork
  • Poultry

  • 71°C (160°F)
  • 74°C (165°F)
Egg dishes
  • 74°C (165°F)
(for example, hot dogs, stuffing, leftovers, seafood)

  • 74°C (165°F)

It is estimated that there are as many as 11 million cases of foodborne illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these cases could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation steps.

More information about safe food preparation and digital food thermometers is available from:

Healthy Canadians

Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education

Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls using social media tools.

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SOURCE Health Canada