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  6. Proper cooking and internal temperatures

Proper cooking and internal temperatures

Cooking reduces harmful bacteria in food to safe levels. Therefore, it is important to follow these recommendations:  

  • Do not stop cooking food based on its appearance. Food that looks cooked can still be raw inside. If this happens, surface heating will quickly increase the amount of bacteria in the food.  
  • Cook meats to the recommended internal temperatures. To check, insert a thermometer into the middle of the meat without touching any bones or layers of fat. Wash and sanitize your thermometer after use. 

Microwave cooking 

Check whether the manufacturer recommends microwave cooking for its products. Some foods, such as chicken nuggets, must be cooked in a conventional oven. 

When using the microwave: 

  • Turn or stir the food frequently to distribute heat evenly.  
  • Cover the food to keep moisture inside the container. Wait two minutes for the heat to dissipate.  
  • Use microwave-safe containers. Some plastics or wraps can melt if heated.  

Slow cookers 

Slow cookers can be used to cook food, but not to reheat it. 

Meat must be fresh or defrosted. Do not use frozen meat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the size of the pieces you are using (e.g., large roasts, whole poultry).  

Use a thermometer to check that the food has reached a safe internal temperature.  

If a prolonged power outage causes your slow cooker to turn off partway through cooking, do not eat the food. Discard it instead. 

Safe cooking temperatures

Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. 

Ground meat and meat mixtures (sausages, meatballs, meatloaf) 
ProductInternal temperature
Poultry, exotic meats, game meats74 °C
Beef, veal, lamb, pork, goat, horse71 °C

There are well-known health risks associated with eating ground meat. When preparing ground meat, certain recommendations should be followed. 

Cuts of meat and whole pieces
ProductInternal temperature
Beef, veal, lamb, goat63 °C (medium rare)
71 °C (medium)
77 °C (well done)
Mechanically tenderized beef and veal63 °C
Pork (pork chops and roasts)71 °C
Ready-to-cook ham71 °C
Whole poultry82 °C
Poultry pieces74 °C
Horse71 °C
Wild or farmed game meats (wild boar, deer, moose, etc.)74 °C
Exotic meats (crocodile, turtle, etc.)74 °C

Offal such as liver, heart, tripe, kidney and tongue from different animals require different cooking approaches. Find out more at Liver and other offal.

Fish and seafood
Product Internal temperature
Fish70 °C
Seafood74°C or until flesh is opaque (crustaceans) or the shell opens (oysters and mussels)
Product Internal temperature
Whole eggsFirm white and yolk
Egg dishes74 °C

General notice

Foods requiring special care

Special care is needed when preparing the following foods : 

Last update: March 26, 2024


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