26 May, 2011

USDA Announces New Pork Cooking Guidelines

The USDA has finally updated their guidelines for cooking pork, announcing that an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is quite sufficient for cooking pork.

It's well known that Trichinella is killed at 137 degrees F; I and many others have been saying for years that it is unnecessary to cook the living hell out of pork.  Old cookbooks often advised people to cook pork to a temperature of 180 F, which makes it inedibly dry.

For me the issue with doneness of pork is a matter of texture.  When I make a pork roast, I generally cook it to an internal temp of about 155 F or so.  I find pork that is too rare to be uncomfortably "slimy" in mouthfeel.  (That particular quality disgusts me; it's why I hate gumbo and many types of sashimi.)

So, Huzzah! to the FDA for this sensible new guideline!


Leeanne said...

News of this new guideline struck me as funny, because my husband and I always argue over the "doneness" of pork loin. He likes it pink, like a medium-rare steak. And I like it much more "medium," because I equate pork tenderloin with chicken and lord knows you don't want pink chicken.

I hate it when he's right.

Steve said...

My mom ingrained overcooked pork chops into my head for 18 years. That lasted for six or seven more years until I worked (ever so briefly) in a high-end restaraunt.

There, I was served a medium pork chop and (at the time) I realized that hey! these things aren't awful!

TommyA said...

I normaly cook pork to 155 degrees and only above that when someone was a little squimish towards pink. My wife was the worst about a pink color but, now I have some good info to pass on. Thanks for the post!