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Finally, Pork Doesn't Have to be "The Other WHITE Meat"

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 25, 2011 4:40PM

2011_5_25Pigboard.jpg According to the USDA, pork no longer has to be cooked until it's dry and dead. The previous guidelines, which called for pork to be blasted until it was 160 degrees, white and dry (ok, the last two are our personal descriptors) have been revised, and the Tribune reports that 145 degrees is the new accepted temperature. As chefs have been saying for years, pink pork is safe to eat. This won't change our personal habits (we already cook pork pink) but at least maybe we'll be able to use the built-in alarm on our meat thermometer, which is rigged to conform to USDA guidelines.

Chefs welcomed the change. "It's about goddamn time, that is all I have to say," said Big Jones chef Paul Fehribach. Susan Goss of West Town Tavern rejoiced: "Well hooray! it is about time. We have been cooking pork to about 135-140 for years. Most restaurants have. I haven't had a guest return a pork dish for more cooking in a year or so. Still, some request "well done" is time to enjoy pork the way it is meant to be enjoyed: medium rare to medium."