The following is included here with permission from the Food Safety Information Council and more information can be found at www.foodsafety.asn.au
Whole pieces of meat, such as steak, beef, pork and lamb, can be cooked to taste as long as the outside of the meat is fully cooked to kill external bacteria.
Always cook chicken, rolled and stuffed meats, sausages and minced meat, such as hamburger patties and sausages, so that the juices run clear – there should be no hint of pink in the centre. This is because food poisoning bacteria will be present all the way through these types of meat products and thorough cooking will kill them. If you are unsure as to whether these foods have been sufficiently cooked, check that in the thickest part the temperature reaches 75°C with a meat thermometer.
Meat thermometers are available from good kitchen shops and some electrical stores ranging in price from between $12 to $35. The thermometer probe should be placed in the thickest part of the meat, such as the thigh on poultry, not touching bone or gristle which can give a false reading. Poultry, sausages, hamburgers and rolled roast meat should reach an internal temperature of 75°C to ensure all food poisoning bacteria are killed.
There are two main types of meat thermometer:
This should be inserted into the meat before it is placed in the oven or cooked, with the dial facing forward so it can easily be read.
The probe is placed in the meat and the wire run between the oven door seals to the digital read out which sits outside the oven.
There are also:
- Instant read thermometers that aren’t oven proof but can be briefly inserted into the meat outside the oven for a few minutes to give a read out
- Pop up thermometers which are often purchased in packaged poultry or roasts and pop up when done – note these are not as accurate as other types of meat thermometer.
- Special microwave meat thermometers.
Always carefully read the instructions before using a meat thermometer.