Using a Food Thermometer

Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County’s EFNEP Program would like to offer some tips on how to safely use a food thermometer.

The only way to know that food is cooked to the correct temperature and eliminate harmful bacteria that may be present is to use a food thermometer. However, a food thermometer is only helpful if you are using it properly. Food thermometer placement is very important to get an accurate reading. The proper way is to insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone. Cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. Wait the recommended amount of time for your type of thermometer. For meat products including raw beef, pork, lamb, veal steaks, chops and roasts, use the food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. Remember to clean your food thermometer with hot, soapy water after each use. This prevents cross-contamination and the spread of harmful bacteria.

For more safety tips please call Cornell Cooperative Extensions at 716-664-9502 Ext. 217 or visit our website at

The EFNEP Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.


Iris Ruiz
EFNEP Nutrition Educator
716-664-9502 ext. 217

Last updated November 18, 2016