Overcooking meat, you know, makes it tough and unappetizing. But how many of us have always resigned ourselves to consuming very well cooked pork for its reputation as a food subject to easy perishableness? Well, today we know that to eliminate the risk of bacteria or parasites it is not essential to consume well-cooked pork, it is okay even if it remains slightly pink, as many gastronomes suggest to do.
The indication comes from the US Department of Agriculture . Who has chosen, perhaps not by chance, the season of outdoor grilling to tackle a fundamental dilemma for the success of a roast : extending cooking in the name of safety, but risking making the meat hard and stringy, or shortening the times hoping to avoid a stomach ache?
The risk is mainly represented by Trichinella , a parasite present in pork that causes gastrointestinal disorders and in some cases serious complications. In Italy, the infection is not totally eradicated – a few months ago cases were identified in Sardinia – but the risk comes above all from game or meat from uncontrolled farms.
In any case, according to American experts, an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit – about 63 degrees Celsius – is enough to eliminate the risk of contamination. As long as you observe the precaution of letting the meat rest for three minutes before eating it: in this way the heat would continue to destroy any pathogens, making it safe without the need to prolong cooking.
At first glance this is not a revolution, as the recommended temperature so far was 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius). The novelty is that pork must no longer be treated differently from beef, veal and lamb, while higher temperatures are still recommended for poultry and minced meat (71 degrees for minced meat and around 74 for chickens and turkeys. ).