Here's How To Tell If Your Food Is Fully Cooked

You don't need to worry about eating anything raw.

IMAGE David Hanson

Food safety is a must in every home. One of the ways to avoid getting sick is by eating food that has been cooked right. 

There are at least two ways of knowing if the meat you're cooking is fully cooked to the recommended safe temperatures. Recommended safe temperatures, if you're curious, is basically the temperatures that meat should be cooked so that any bacteria the meat may have are killed. This means that the meat, all the way to the center of it, needs to reach these temperatures. 

Here is what you should do to ensure that the meat you're cooking is safe to eat: 

Photo by Lazada

1 Use A Meat Thermometer.

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When it comes to meat, there are degrees of doneness that you can cook meat. Steaks are usually the meats that come to mind when it comes to meat doneness but that's not true. All meat have degrees of doneness that you can cook it to. Meat, whether pork, chicken, or beef, are usually advised to be cooked to a certain temperature to be safe to eat. These temperatures are usually disregarded for steak since there are some people who love their meat a certain way: rare, medium, or well done. 

The only true way to determine if your meat has been cooked to safe temperatures is to use a meat thermometer. You'll have to stick a meat thermometer into the center of the meat and check its internal temperature. There is a minimum temperature for all meat that determines its degree of doneness. If you're curious what these degree of doneness are for these three common kinds of meat, here's a quick minimal internal temperature guide as recommended

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MEAT

SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURE

Beef and Pork

145 degrees F (62.8 degrees C) 

Ground Meat

160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C)

Chicken 

165 degrees F (73.9 degrees C)

Eggs

160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C)

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Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Cook It Longer. 

Don't have a meat thermometer? The only other way to be truly sure your meat is fully cooked is to cook it all the way through until it's well done. The only problem with this method is the danger of overcooking the meat. Since you're concerned about cooking it fully and you don't have a meat thermometer to accurately tell if the meat has reached the temperatures needed to kill off any bacteria that might be in your meat, cooking it until well done will usually mean the meat has been overcooked and might be tough, stringy, and basically, inedible. 

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You don't have to suffer through tough, dry meat. The best way to fully cook meat and still cook it to result in tender bites is to cook it even longer than usual. This means cooking a stew or a soup so "overcooking the meat" even beyond its normal levels basically means tenderizing the meat. 

Stews like the ever-popular adobo, the classic kaldereta, and the quick-cooking menudo are all great tasting ideas to ensure that you're not going to be eating meat that's neither raw nor tough. 

They say "it's better to be safe than sorry" so if you're cautious, you can use either of these sure methods to ensure that any food you eat that contains meat is fully cooked through without being unappealing. 

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