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WASHINGTON -- The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) here is advising consumers that cooking raw poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F will eliminate pathogens and viruses.
The single minimum internal temperature requirement of 165°F was recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF).
"The Committee was asked to determine a single minimum temperature for poultry at which consumers can be confident that pathogens and viruses will be destroyed," said Dr. Richard Raymond, under secretary for food safety, "The recommendation is based on the best scientific data available and will serve as a foundation for our programs designed to reduce foodborne illness and protect public health."
Scientific research indicates that foodborne pathogens and viruses, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and the avian influenza virus, are destroyed when poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 recommends the use of a food thermometer to monitor internal temperature.
In addition, consumers should follow important tips for handling raw poultry, which can be summarized in three words: clean, separate and chill.
FSIS will use the NACMCF recommendation to further guide consumers in the preparation of poultry products to ensure microbiological safety. While the NACMCF has established 165°F as the minimum temperature at which bacteria and viruses will be destroyed, consumers, for reasons of personal preference, may choose to cook poultry to higher temperatures.
Retailers can direct consumers with food safety questions to call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854. The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. "Ask Karen" is the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day to answer your questions at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/Ask_Karen/index.asp#Question.