Just in time for Memorial Day weekend cook-outs, the USDA is making a change in the recommended cooking temperature for pork. Joyce Hoppes, spokeswoman for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says the new information is important.

“Now, we can now cook pork to the internal temperature of 145 degrees, followed by a three-minute rest time,” Hoppes says. “This new temperature will help insure a juicy and flavorful product.”

Hoppes says there is another rule to remember. When you take the meat from the heat source, let it sit for three minutes before cutting into it.

“When you take something off the grill or out of the oven, it still continues to cook a little while so that temperature still rises,” she says. “Another important thing is during that rest time, the juices settle in the meat, they set, so when you slice the meat you don’t lose a lot of the juices and flavor.”

Hoppes says since it doesn’t cook quite as long, whole cuts of pork may have a bit of a different look — more of a “medium rare” pork with a little blush of pink. Hoppes says the 145-degree temperature is for whole cuts of pork only.

“This guideline is for whole muscle cuts like loins, chops and roasts,” she says. “When it comes to ground pork, the recommendation is still 160-degrees for ground pork. That is to assure the meat is completely cooked.”

Hoppes says all poultry must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165-degrees. Learn more at: http://PorkBeInspired.com