Final Cooking Temperatures
Raw or incompletely cooked animal tissues may contain harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Adequate cooking will destroy these harmful microorganisms and is an important step in foodborne illness prevention.
Time-temperature relationship
Both adequate time and temperature are necessary to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites which may have contaminated food.
Guidelines for Final Cooking Temperatures
The table below provides the minimum recommended time and internal food temperature needed to destroy harmful microorganisms in food cooked by conventional methods (i.e., heat sources other than a microwave).

Food Product

Minimum Internal Temperature ° F Minimum Time
Poultry 165 15 seconds
Stuffed meat/fish, foods containing meat/fish 165 15 seconds
Ground, chopped meat/fish(sausage, gyros, etc.) 155 15 seconds
157 1 second
Whole meats (beef steaks, pork chops, etc.) 145 15 seconds
All other potentially hazardous foods, including eggs, fish, and seafood 145 15 seconds
Beef /pork roasts * 140 12 minutes
Note: Lower cooking temperatures may be used if cooking time is increased according to approved guidelines.
Microwave cooking
Microwave cooking requires additional steps to ensure food is evenly and thoroughly cooked. Follow these simple steps:
  • Heat food to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.
  • During cooking cover the food product to retain surface moisture.
  • Stir and/or rotate periodically.
  • Allow food to stand covered for at least 2 minutes after cooking to ensure temperature equilibrium.
Helpful hints
  • Ready-to-eat salad dressings/sauces containing raw or partially cooked egg or foods made from raw or partially cooked meats may be served at your facility only if:

    -the customer specifically orders that way.
    -your facility notifies customers, orally or in writing, at the time of ordering, that the food is raw.
  • When egg-containing foods will receive little or no cooking:
    -use pasteurized shell eggs or pasteurized egg products.
  • Because heat will not destroy toxins and spores, maintain potentially hazardous foods:

    -at 41°F or colder or
    -at 135°F or hotter, and
    -protected from possible contamination by unclean hands, utensils , or overhead drippage.
For further information
For further information of food protection, please contact the Resource Management Environmental Health Division, (707) 784-6765.