The holidays are here, and while they may look different this year, there’s a chance you may have some kind of holiday meal. To keep your family safe from foodborne illnesses and food poisoning, you’ll want to make sure that any meat you have at your dinner is cooked at proper temperatures. Different types of meats have different minimum cooking temperatures. In order to avoid food poisoning, you’ll want to follow these healthy food temperatures to ensure any bacteria or other microbes have been killed during cooking.

Beef and Lamb

Different types of beef and lamb have different cooking time requirements. Fresh beef, veal, lamb need to have an internal cooking temperature of at least 145 degrees. After it reaches that temperature, you’ll want to let it rest for 3 minutes. On the other hand, if you use ground meat of any kind, you’ll want to cook it to a higher temperature. The minimum internal temperature should be 160 degrees.


If your holiday meal consists of poultry, like chicken or turkey, you have different internal temperatures compared to beef and lamb. Generally, all types of poultry and the different cuts can be cooked to the same temperature. The minimum temperature for poultry is 165 degrees. Because the meat tends to be a little more dense compared to other types of meat, it requires a higher cooking temperature.


Pork and ham tend to be one of the mainstays of people’s holiday celebrations. If this is the first time you cook the pork or ham, you can cook it to 145 degrees. However, if the meat has been pre-cooked and you’re reheating the meat, you’ll want to cook it to a higher temperature. In that case, you’ll want to cook it to 165 degrees.


Some people choose to make a seafood dish for their holiday meal. If the seafood you cook had fins (like salmon), you’ll want to cook the dish until at least 145 degrees. If it easily flakes with a fork, it’s cooked to the right temperature. However, if you choose to cook shellfish (like shrimp), you’ll want to cook it until the flesh is opaque and pearly or white colored.


Eggs typically aren’t the main thing people eat for a holiday dinner, but they are common for the morning of a celebration. If someone makes plain eggs on their own, cook until the yolk and egg whites have a firm texture. However, if you make a quiche or a frittata, you’ll need to cook it until the internal temperatures reaches 160 degrees. Cooking eggs to those textures or temperatures makes sure you won’t have foodborne illnesses.

Cooking to healthy food temperatures is crucial when it comes to keep everyone safe. The meals everyone eats at the holidays vary, so this is just a starting point. At Extreme Microbial Technologies, we have the ability to cut down on food spoilage with our specialized equipment. Additionally, it can cut down on microbial presence. If you’re interested in learning more about our machines, you can request more information now.