Food Thermometer

Why Use a Food Thermometer?

"I want to keep my family safe."
"I used to overcook my food. Now my food is juicier - not dry as a bone."
People all over the country are using a food thermometer to check the temperature of everyday foods — like hamburgers, pork chops, and chicken breasts.
Most people think they know when food is "done" just by "eyeballing it." They look at it and trust their experience.
Experience is good, but it sometimes can be misleading. For instance, cooking by color is definitely misleading. Meat color — pink or brown — can fool you!
How do you know when your hamburger is cooked? Because it's brown inside?
Think about this … 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown in the middle BEFORE it has reached a safe internal temperature, according to recent USDA research.
Use a food thermometer.
Keep your family safe.
Be a better cook.

Digital, Dial, & Disposable!

Thermometers are turning up everywhere in today's kitchens in all shapes and sizes — digitals, instant-reads, probes for the oven and microwave, disposable indicators and sensor sticks, pop-ups, and even barbecue forks. They're high-tech and easy to use.
Some thermometers are meant to stay in the food while it's cooking; others are not. Some are ideal for checking thin foods, like the digital. Others, like the large-dial thermometer many people use, are really meant for large roasts and whole chickens and turkeys.
Choose and use the one that is right for you!
  • Dial Instant-Read
  • Digital Instant-Read
  • Disposable Temperature Indicators
  • Fork
  • Dial Oven-Safe
  • Pop-Up

Why Is It Important?

These are the facts!
  • Millions of people get sick from dangerous bacteria in food every year.
  • Public health data in 2000 show that there are more than 5 times the number of dangerous bacteria in our food than we were aware of in 1942.
  • Many people don't link their illness to foodborne bacteria. They think they have a case of the flu.
  • You can become sick anytime from 20 minutes to 6 weeks after eating food with some types of harmful bacteria.
  • Infants and young children, pregnant women, and older adults are at greatest risk for foodborne illness, as are all people with weakened immune systems caused by cancer treatment, AIDS, diabetes, kidney disease, and organ transplants.


Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing if your food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.
Is it done yet?
Where is your food thermometer?


Food °F
Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures
Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160
Turkey, Chicken 165
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb
Medium Rare 145
Medium 160
Well Done 170
Chicken & Turkey, whole 165
Poultry breasts, roast 165
Poultry thighs, wings 165
Duck & Goose 165
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 165
Fresh Pork 160
Fresh (raw) 160
Pre-cooked (to reheat) 140
Eggs & Egg Dishes
Eggs Cook until yolk & white are firm
Egg dishes 160
Leftovers & Casseroles 165
Thermy™ is the messenger of a national consumer education campaign of the USDA/FSIS designed to promote the use of food thermometers. To read more about Thermy™ visit his web site:

Some Useful Numbers

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
(TTY: 1-800-256-7072)

Thermy™ Fights BAC!

Proper cooking is one of the four key steps for fighting BAC — bacteria that can be found in food. Be a BAC-fighter.
Fight BAC!® is a food safety education campaign of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. For more information, check their web site:

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, May 16, 2008