Follow these USDA-recommended practices to reduce risks from pathogens:

  • Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry and fish from other foods and each other, cleaning hands, knives and cutting boards between items.
  • Always cook to proper internal temperatures, and check with a meat thermometer: ground beef and all cuts of pork, 160°F; beef and lamb roasts, steaks and chops, 145°F; poultry thighs and breasts, 170°F; whole birds, 180°F. Remember: Checking the color of meat does not protect you—even if there is no trace of pink in the middle, pathogens may be present.
  • Cook seafood as follows: Finned fish should be opaque and should flake easily; crabmeat should be red and pearly opaque; clams and mussels should be cooked until shells open (discard any that remain closed).
  • Refrigerate before cooking and within two hours after (one hour if you are outdoors and the temperature is above 90°F).
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