Publish Date: June 3, 2006
How would you like your pork chop? Medium rare? Well done? Most consumers have never been faced with this decision. Due to the concern for Trichinella spiralis, typical pork cookery practices involve heating the pork until it is overcooked and white in color. Cookbooks instruct to cook pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), which is the medium degree of doneness. Actually, under FDA guidelines, pork can be cooked to 145°F (63°C) for 3 minutes or 150°F (66°C) for 1 minute. Cooking pork at a lower temperature improves the moisture and flavor of the product. The dry, mild flavor that often accompanies pork is due to cooking beyond 160°F (71°C).