Preparation Tips for Food Safety

Use these tips and cooking temperatures for optimal flavor and food safety.*

Food Safety

Ideal Cooking Temperatures

Cooking temperatures can vary based on cut and preference. Below are guidelines and recommended temperatures for safe preparation.


Cook to 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well-done. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part or the center of the steak to determine doneness.

Ground Beef

Always cook ground beef to 160ºF. Don’t use color as a reliable indicator of doneness. Insert a thermometer into the side of a hamburger patty or into the center of the thickest part of meatballs or meatloaf.

Get more food safety tips here.

Beef Cooking Tips

  • Avoid high heat–it can overcook or char the outside while the inside is undercooked
  • Avoid bringing beef to room temperature before cooking
  • Turn steaks and roasts with tongs to avoid piercing the beef and loss of flavor
  • Use spatulas for ground beef patties and avoid pressing down on the patty to preserve juiciness
  • Salt beef after cooking or browning rather than before to avoid dryness

Learn More

Questions on food safety or beef preparation tips? Learn more at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. or contact us.

*All preparation tips, resources, and statistics on this page are repurposed from Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.