The Physics
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Temperature at Which Pork is Cooked

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Kiple, Kenneth F. Ornelas, Kriemhild. The Cambridge World History of Food. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000: 540. "Pork is considered done when it reaches an average interior temperature of 75.9°C (170°F)." 75.9 °C
Encyclopedia Americana. 1924: 413. "It is necessary, therefore, that pork is cooked to an internal temperature of 176°F (77°C) for fresh loin roasts to 185°F (85°C) for other large fresh cuts. Cured and smoked products should reach an internal temperature of 160°F to 170°F (72°C to 85°C)" 77–85 °C
Reichl, Ruth. The Gourmet Cookbook. New York; Conde Nast, 2004. "Cooking a roast to medium-the final temperature should be 150°F- 155°F (66–69°C)—is enough to kill the Trichinella parasite (which infects only 1 percent or less of American hogs." 66–69 °C
The Unwelcome Dinner Guest: Preventing Foodborne Illness. US Food and Drug Administration. Publication No. (FDA) 03-1300, 1991. "Beef, lamb, and veal should be cooked to at least 145 F (63 C); pork and ground beef to 160 F (71 C)." 71 °C
Miller, Bryan. Cooking For Dummies. New York: Hungry Minds, 2000. [see table below] 68–71 °C
Cut Thickness/Weight Final Internal Temperature Cooking Time
Loin roast (bone-in) 3 to 5 pounds 155°F-160°F 20 minutes per pound
Boneless pork roast 2 to 4 pounds 155°F-160°F 20 minutes per pound
Tenderloin (roast at 425°F-450°F) .5 to 1.5 pounds 155°F-160°F 20 to 30 minutes
Crown roast 6 to 10 pounds 155°F-160°F 20 minutes per pound
Boneless loin chops 1 inch thick 155°F-160°F 12 to 16 minutes
Ribs   tender 1.5 to 2 hours

Pork is a great source of protein, thiamine (vitamin B), and niacin. Among the minerals pork ranks high as a source of iron, potassium, and calcium, with lesser amounts of chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium.

Trichinosis is a serious and sometimes fatal illness that occurs from the transfer of parasitic roundworms called Trichinella (trichina) from infected hogs to human through inadequately cooked pork being ingested. This is why it is very important that pork be cooked thoroughly at the right temperature and right timing.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration they suggest that cooked pork should reach an internal temperature of 71 °C (160 °F) before eating. However, according to the gourmet cookbook the final internal temperature can be 66°C–69°C (150°F–155°F). They believe that this temperature keeps the pork healthy while at the same time maintaining its flavor.

The desirable temperature while cooking pork seems to be around 163°C-191°C (325-375 °F). Many cookbooks suggest that they be cooked at that temperature for approximately 4-5 hours. Also, the inner temperature of the pork should be around 71 °C (160 °F) before it is safe to be eaten.

Although cooking at such high temperatures might take the flavor away in the end it keeps us healthy and prevents any parasites such as Trichinella from transferring from hogs into humans.

Karen Freire -- 2007