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AGRIBUSINESS: Pork Cooking Tips

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Given the last two days of oppressive snow and ice, it does some good to look ahead at better weather. Grilling season won't officially kick off until Memorial Day Weekend, which this year is May 25 and 26, but the Iowa Pork Producers Association has a tip for cooking pork at any time, and one that takes into consideration the ways pork has changed in the last few decades.

Ron Birkenholz, IPPA Communication Director, says pork is much leaner than it was 20 or 30 years ago. The FDA lowered the cooking temperature to 145 degrees and consumers need to be aware because it seems pork is often overcooked. Ron stated "Now at 145 there is just a slight hint of pink in it. It's very juicy, it's very flavorful and it's the ultimate product now."

Equally as important to food safety is the three minute rest time. Allowing pork to "rest" for three minutes after being cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees kills pathogens, but retains quality. The Iowa Pork Producers Association also points out that ground pork still needs to be cooked to a 160 degrees all the way through.