How To Tell If Meat And Poultry Are Undercooked

Eating raw meat and poultry can be quite dangerous and lead to food poisoning (per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That's why it's important to make sure your food is fully cooked before eating it. According to the Food Network, you should cook raw meat and poultry at a safe minimum internal temperature in order to ensure that it's fully cooked. However, the exact temperature depends on the type of protein and cooking method. For instance, if you're cooking chicken breast, it's best to cook it at around 165 degrees, while the chicken thigh and ground chicken can be cooked up to 175 degrees.

When it comes to beef, however, the temperature can vary based on how rare or well done you like your meat. If you want your meat to be rare, you should cook it at 125 degrees with a resting time of three minutes. For meat that's well done, cook it at 155 degrees or more. Meanwhile, a medium steak or burger should be cooked around 135 to 140 degrees.

Use a thermometer or check the color of the meat or poultry

One way to tell if meat and poultry are undercooked is to use an instant-read thermometer (via Our Everyday Life). If the meat reaches the desired temperature when you stick in, you'll know it's fully cooked. If not, it is undercooked. You can also tell by checking the color of the meat. When it comes to cooking chicken, however, it can be difficult to determine how well cooked it is just by observing its appearance (via Spoon University). That's because chicken can be fully cooked and still look pink.

That's why you should also check the color of the juices. If the juices appear either white or clear, the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are still pink, however, your chicken might need to be cooked a little while longer. Chicken should also slightly shrink in size when it's cooked, so if your chicken breast is still the same size, it may need more time.