The Food Safety and Inspection Service today advised consumers that cooking raw poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F will eliminate pathogens and viruses, reports the Department of Congressional and Public Affairs. The single minimum internal temperature requirement of 165 degrees F was recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.

"The Committee was asked to determine a single minimum temperature for poultry at which consumers can be confident that pathogens and viruses will be destroyed," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond. "The recommendation is based on the best scientific data available and will serve as a foundation for our programs designed to reduce foodborne illness and protect public health."

FSIS will use the NACMCF recommendation to further guide consumers in the preparation of poultry products to ensure microbiological safety. While the NACMCF has established 165 degrees F as the minimum temperature at which bacteria and viruses will be destroyed, consumers, for reasons of personal preference, may choose to cook poultry to higher temperatures.