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Thanksgiving Preparations

Updated: Friday, May 10 2013, 09:23 AM CDT
When
it comes to holiday meals, flavor is foremost, whether it’s the
traditional big holiday turkey, small rolled beef roast or a salmon
fillet. The cut you start
with is important, but so is the cooking temperature. Following the
updated cooking temperature recommendations released earlier this year
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A) keeps meats safe as well
as tender and delicious.

 
U.S.D.A. gave us only three numbers to remember:
145°F for all steaks, roasts and chops with a 3-minute rest. This includes beef, pork, veal and lamb. U.S.D.A. found that the three-minute rest makes
meat just as safe as cooking to the previously recommended 160°F. Lower temperature means a moister meat with more flavor.

 
Beef
and pork will be pink at this temperature. The redness is not blood. It
is something called myoglobin which holds oxygen in muscle. Today’s
lean pork loin roasts
dry out easily, so cooking them to the lower temperature helps keep pork
tender.

 
145°F for most seafood.  The thermometer is best, but unlike for meats, you can tell when seafood is done by looking at it. Fish, such as salmon, should
be opaque and separate easily with a fork

 
160°F for all ground meat except poultry. Because bacteria on the outside of meat gets mixed into the product during grinding, the higher temperature
is important.

 
165°F for all poultry.
Use this to gauge the doneness and safety of whole birds, pieces and
ground turkey or chicken. This lower temperature keeps breast
meat moist.

 
Use a food thermometer.
You can’t tell if the temperature of meat is safe by looking at it.
Thermometers are located in the utensil section of the baking aisle
or by the meat department at Hy-Vee - or ask one of our friendly smiles
for the location at your store.

 
Instant-read
thermometers are easy to use. Look for the small indentations on the
probe and insert the thermometer deep enough into the meat to cover the
indentations.
Remove the thermometer before putting meat back in the oven or on the
grill.

 
Judy
Fitzgibbons represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert working throughout
the community to promote healthy eating and nutrition. Judy is a
Registered Dietitian and
member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Thanksgiving Preparations


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