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Everyone has unique preferences when it comes to how well their meat is cooked. Some like it rare and others well-done. Eating meat raw might be fine in a restaurant but if you are grilling your meats at home, you need to learn about the cooking temperature for meat. Undercooked meat can cause all sorts of problems in your digestive system but this can be avoided if you know how to cook your favorite meat the right way.
What is the safe temperature for cooking meat?
Beef should be cooked at 160 degrees when it is ground and 145 degrees if it is fresh. Uncooked beef can contain E Coli, which is a bacterium that infests the stomach and causes symptoms like diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloody stools and even a little fever.
Ground beef requires a higher temperature than fresh meat because it is made out of meat from a lot of different cows. One cow might be healthy but the next one might be infected. Since they both end up in the same meat packet, you will catch bacteria and fall ill.
It’s hard to think about disease-causing beef without thinking about mad cow disease. Mad cow disease should be controlled at the basic level. It is up to manufacturers and farmers to disinfect cattle. It cannot be killed by simply cooking it.
Pigs are well-known for their less-than-sanitary ways and the worms they ingest while feeding. One of the most reported diseases from people who have eaten uncooked pork is trichinellosis, also known as trichinosis. This is when the larvae of a worm called trichinella enters your stomach and makes you sick. It is known by the symptoms it produces, which include discomfort in the abdomen, fatigue, fever and diarrhea. This disease can spread to the nervous system and cause itchiness in the face, pain in the joints, headaches and constipation.
Therefore, 160 degrees is the best temperature for cooking meat. Fresh pork and ham can be cooked at 145 degrees but if the pork is mixed or ground, it’s 160 degrees.
Poultry and chicken
Poultry and chicken need a slightly higher temperature than other meats. Both should be cooked at 165 degrees. Eating them undercooked can put you at risk for campylobacter, a disease that can cause serious damage to your health if left untreated. Campylobacter confuses the immune system and causes it to attack your nervous system. Apart from diarrhea, this infection can lead to conditions like arthritis and other neuron-related diseases.
Another disease from undercooked meat worth noting is Listeria. It affects all types of meat and causes muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea and fever. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor right away because it has a tendency to spread to the nervous system. When it does, your neck might become stiff and headaches might follow.
Knowing the right cooking temperature for meat is crucial to your health. While diseases might produce symptoms for a few days, some might be life-threatening.