By MICHAEL J. CRUMB
DES MOINES, IA (AP) -- The US Department of Agriculture is lowering its temperature recommendation for cooking pork to 145 degrees.
That's a drop of 15 degrees and a change from the agency's longstanding guideline. It means pork will be held to the same standard as beef, veal and lamb.
The USDA made the change after several years of research and talks with producers and food safety experts. Producers proposed the new standard in 2008, based in part on new production methods that reduced the risk of pathogens.
USDA Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen says a single temperature for all cuts of meat should help consumers remember the recommendations.
Despite the new recommendation, the USDA says ground meats must still be cooked to 160 degrees and all poultry products must be cooked to 165 degrees.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)