Yesterday the USDA updated its recommendations for cooking pork. Most notably, it lowered the recommended lowest safe internal temperature from 160 degrees to 145 degrees.
According to the new guidelines, it is now considered safe to cook whole (i.e., not ground) pork to 145 degrees and let it rest for three minutes after cooking. Ground pork, like hamburger, should still be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
This will result in pork chops and roasts that are still pink in the center.
I know that the parasite Trichinella spiralis has long been eradicated from the commercial pork supply, so I’ve had no qualms about cooking or serving pink pork. I have, maybe twice in my life, seen a couple of guests turn a little green in the gills when I’ve served pinkish pork tenderloin. (Then again, it might have been our housekeeping.)
The folks at the Pork Information Bureau must have been downing Bakon Vodka shots as soon as the news hit. They took no time in overnighting me a press release with this hockey puck and a new slogan: “Great news for pork lovers: The puck stops here.”
Do you still cook pork well done? Will this news change your approach to porcine palatability?