Color sucks; use a thermometer

Former graduate student Allison Smathers caught Liz Szabo’s color-is-not-an-indicator brief in USA Today and tweeted like love, food safety is color blind.

So is Stephen Colbert.20140307-203245.jpg

It’s a myth that color is a reliable indicator of whether food is fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer, says Benjamin Chapman, assistant professor at North Carolina State University. Poultry requires an internal temperature of 165 degrees, ground beef, 160; pork and seafood, 145.
Safely cooked chicken can still be pink; preservatives (nitrates or nitrites) also can cause a pink color, more common in younger birds with thin skin.

Stick it in.

Beef’s color is affected by acidity and fat content. Low-fat patties need more cooking and higher temperatures. Beef also can turn brown before reaching a safe temperature if it’s from an older animal, was stored for a long time or exposed to too much air.