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(article, Culinate staff)
For years, meat lovers have complained about the USDA's recommended guidelines for cooking meat, which essentially declared that meat had to be overcooked in order to be safe. Now the feds — presumably mindful of the summer grilling season, which semi-officially starts today — have revised those guidelines downwards. The new rules? As the Washington Post quoted, there are now three degrees to keep in mind: "145 for whole meats, 160 for ground meats, and 165 for all poultry." That may still not be enough for aficionados, however; as chef Michael Ruhlmann noted, he takes meat off the heat once it hits 135 degrees, as meat will continue to cook for several minutes as it cools down. (The USDA's new guidelines include a three-minute rest time.) And Mark Bittman, in his burger recipe, suggests getting around the 160-degree mark for ground meat by grinding your own meat.