USDA Food Temperature Guidelines

The USDA food temperature guidelines are standards to establish the safe minimum cooking temperatures for most meats to prevent food borne illness. With all the product recalls recently and the E. coli concerns nowadays, most people prefer their food thoroughly cooked.

The only way to be 100% sure that the food is done thoroughly is to use a good thermometer. Here are the temperatures recommended for each type of food that you may grill.

It is important to note here: These temperatures need to be held for at least 15 seconds to kill all harmful bacteria.

USDA Food Temperature Guidelines updated 2019

Any Ground Meat, 160 degrees (this includes beef, turkey, pork and chicken)

Red Meat a.k.a Beef, Veal, or Lamb, Medium Rare 145 degrees- Medium 160 degrees- Well Done 170 degrees

Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck or goose) 165 degrees

Pork fresh and raw ham 145 degrees

Ham Precooked 140 degrees.

Fish 145 degrees

Shrimp and Lobster is fully cooked when it turns opaque and is firm

Poultry is in bold font because the majority of poultry sold in the US carries bacteria that is harmful to humans. The best way to get rid of it is to cook it to 165 degrees and hold that temp for at least 15 seconds. We have a guide on approximately how long it takes to get into these temperature ranges on your grill.

This chart and an accurate food thermometer are the only sure way to know that your food has reached a high enough internal temperature to destroy any bacteria in it.

Thermapen Mk4 (Red) Professional Thermocouple Cooking Thermometer


aka Sultan of Sizzle

I have been blogging about and selling grilling tool for over 12 years. A Certified Food Safety Professional, KCBS member, award winning writer and have over 10 years experience in the food service industry.

“I have experienced some of the best food this country has to offer and nothing is better than the food that comes off my own grill!”

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USDA Food Temperature Guidelines
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USDA Food Temperature Guidelines
Using this chart and an accurate food thermometer is the only sure way to know that your food has reached a high enough internal temperature to destroy any bacteria in it.
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