Taking TemperatureSafe Meat Preparation is essential to your health.    Follow these steps prepared by the USDA.

Preparation Guidelines
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit
  1. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 70º F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
  2. Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
  3. Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  4. Color is NOT a reliable indicator that meat has been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria.
  5. The only way to be sure the meat or poultry is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
  • Fish: 145°F
  • Beef, pork, lamb chops/steaks/roasts: 145°F with a three minute rest time
  • Ground meat: 160°F
  • Poultry: 165°F
  • Hot dogs: 160°F or steaming hot