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Since research by the International Food Information Council Foundation found that only 36 percent of Americans regularly use a thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry is cooked to proper internal temperatures, the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) has released a new video to coincide with September’s National Food Safety Education Month.
The video features tips for thermometer usage in a variety of meat and poultry products, among them beef and turkey burgers, pork chops, steaks, chicken breasts and roasts.
“People often believe they can tell when meat or poultry is cooked by looking at the color or by touching it, but using a thermometer is the only way to truly ensure safety,” explained Betsy Booren, chief scientist at AMIF, a nonprofit research, education and information foundation established by the American Meat Institute. “It’s an easy step to take when cooking that can make a significant difference.”
The video further discusses the recommended internal temperatures for various cuts of meat and poultry. Recent AMI polling revealed that just 39 percent of Americans know the recommended internal cooking temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for hamburgers and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for turkey burgers.
Additional key food safety steps include keeping meat and poultry cold before cooking; separating raw and ready to eat foods; cleaning hands, utensils and the cooking board with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and poultry; and refrigerating leftovers within two hours.
In other AMIF news, the foundation has introduced the “Meat & Poultry Expert Guide for Journalists,” which features more than 50 independent experts, listed with full bios, contact information and topic expertise, who are available to speak to the media on topics related to meat and poultry production. The guide will be mailed to journalists in September or can be requested by contacting the AMIF public affairs department.