The University of Guelph’s Food Safety Network is advising summer barbecuers to pay close attention to internal cooking temperatures when cooking meat.

In the June edition of Farmscape, the Food Safety Network’s information center manager Dr. Sarah Wilson notes it’s always important to make sure meat, especially ground meat, reaches an internal temperature sufficient to kill any bacteria.

She explains that during the meat grinding process, any bacteria that might have been on the surface of the cut of meat is ground into the meat so it essentially mixes the potential bacteria throughout the meat. To prevent foodborne illness in ground meats, it is important that the meat reached an adequate temperature to kill that bacteria that might have gotten mixed in.

Dr. Wilson recommends that ground beef and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 71 degrees Celcius, and 80 degrees Celcius for ground chicken.

For rare cuts of those particular whole muscle items, rare is 60 degrees Celsius, the end point temperature. Medium is 71 degrees Celsius and well done is 77 degrees Celsius. For pork chops, pork roasts and fresh cured ham, 71 degrees Celsius is the end point temperature that should be reached.