Meat Temperature Chart and Safe Cooking Tips

Temperatures and Safety Guidelines for Cooking and Reheating Food

Ribeye steak
The Picture Pantry/Lisovskaya Natalia/Getty Images

The proper temperature to cook a medium-rare steak is 130° F - 135° F. However, according to, beef, lamb, and pork should be cooked to at least 145° (or above, if desired). Ground meat must be cooked to at least 160° F. Ground poultry must be cooked to at least 165° F. Fully cooked hams should be heated to at least 140° F.

Keep in mind, the lower temperatures in the chart below for rare and medium-rare meat are not recommended by the USDA.

Rare120° F - 125° F (48.9° C to 51.6° C)
Medium-rare130° F - 135° F (54.4° C to 57.2° C)
Medium140° F - 145° F (60° C to 62.8 °C)
Medium-well150° F - 155° F (65.5° C to 68.3° C)
Well done160° F (71.1 °C) and above
Rare135° F (57.2 ° C)
Medium-rare140° F - 150° F (60° C to 65.5° C)
Medium160° (71.1 °C)
Well done165° (73.9 °C) and above
Chicken165° F - 175° F (73.9 °C to 80° C)
Turkey165° F - 175° F (73.9 °C to 80° C)
Pork145° F (62.8 °C)
Ham, Fully Cooked (to reheat)*140° F (60° C)
Ground Poultry165° F (73.9 °C)
Ground Meat160° F (71.1 °C)
Eggs and Egg Dishes160° F (71.1 °C)
Casseroles160° F (71.1 °C)
Stuffing, Dressing165° F (73.9 °C)
Reheated Leftovers165° F (73.9 °C)
Holding Temperature for Cooked Food140° F (60° C)


Cooked Food and Leftovers

Any temperature between 40° F (4.4° C) and 140° F (60° C) is considered the "danger zone" for food. If food is left in this danger zone for too long, harmful bacteria can grow to levels that could cause illness.


Never leave food out of the refrigerator for over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90° F (32.2° C), no more than 1 hour.

Keep hot cooked food at or above 140° F (60° C) if you aren't serving it right away. Or, if you're serving buffet-style. Slow cookers, chafing dishes, and warming trays are good for keeping food warm for serving, or use a warming drawer or the Keep Warm setting of the oven (usually between 150° F (65.5° C ) and 200° F (93.3° C).

Keep cold food at or below 40° F (4.4° C).  Many refrigerators have a default setting of 45° -- so be sure to check the temperature to guarantee food safety.

Put leftovers in shallow containers so they will cool quickly. They must be refrigerated at 40° F (4.4° C) or below within 2 hours.

Reheat foods to a minimum internal temperature of 165° F (73.9° C), or until they are steaming hot.  When using a microwave to reheat leftovers, cover the container and rotate so they will be heated evenly.

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