Bacteria grow in temperatures between 46.4°F and 140°F. If the temperature is below 46.4°F, bacteria growth is halted or slowed down. At temperatures above 140°F, the bacteria start to perish. It’s all about temperature and time because proteins require heating for long enough for them to break down. My advice is that you should cook food until it has reached 158°F and keep it at that temperature for at least 2 minutes.
Check your pork, poultry, and minced meat before you serve to make sure that it’s piping hot and cooked through to the middle. Also, check that none of the meat is pink and that any juices run clear when you cut into the thickest part of the meat. In a whole turkey or chicken (or any fowl really) check in the area between the leg and the breast.
When cooking a chicken or turkey (or any fowl that you would like stuffing with) it’s advisable to cook the stuffing separately, don’t “stuff” the bird. A stuffed bird takes a longer time to cook and may not end up properly done.
Here are the lists of temperatures that you need to cook different items of food at. The temperatures are Fahrenheit.
For perfectly safe ground meat made from beef, pork, veal, and lamb cook at 160°F.
You can cook turkey and chicken a little higher at 165°F in fact you can cook all Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets, and stuffing) at 165°F.
To safely cook fresh beef, veal, lamb, in steaks, roasts, and chops cook at 145°F.
Also, safe pork and ham (fresh pork, and fresh ham) are best cooked at 145°F.
For eggs and dishes that contain eggs, cook until the yolk and albumen are firm.
Safe egg dishes like frittata and quiche should be cooked at 160°F.
If you have any delicious leftovers or cook casseroles you need the heat of 165°F.
To safely cook fish with fins, cook at 145°F or until the fish’s flesh is opaque and breaks easily with a fork.
For shrimp, lobster, crab and scallops cook until flesh is pearly white and opaque and for clams, oysters and mussels cook until their shells open.
If you want to avoid a painful death, DO NOT allow hot food to sit at room temperature for long periods of time. Cool the food down as quickly as possible (within 2 hours is best) and place the leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Eat the stored food within 2 days.