Is Slightly Pink Pork Okay to Eat? The Truth About Undercooked Pork

Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, taking up to 40% of the world meat consumption, though it is also the most suspected meat in the world.

Have you ever used a thermometer to check and make sure that the pork has the right doneness, but when you slice it down it is still slightly pink?

Is that pork okay to eat or you need to cook a little more?

Will you fall sick if you eat the pink pork?

In this post, we will clarify the common concerns you have when dealing with pork and undercooked pork.

Keep reading to find out.

How Do You Know If Pork Is Undercooked?

There are several ways to check if your piece of meat is fully cooked or still raw such as observing the color, texture, or using the thermometer for better checking.

Observing and Touching

If you don’t have a thermometer in your kitchen, you can still follow these tips below for checking the meat state:

  • Pressing: Use a fork to press the pork and check the juices that come out from the piece of meat.
  • If the juice is clear and has a pinkish color, then the meat is cooked and fine to consume.
  • If the juice is too red and is not clear, then you might need to cook the meat for several more minutes.
  • Slicing: Looking at the internal color and texture is also a way to gauge the pork’s doneness.
  • The meat with white and a little pink color and firm texture is ready for serving.
  • If you press the meat and it doesn’t spring back or it has the dark red color, you need to keep cooking.

Using a Thermometer

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This is an exact method for deciding whether the pork is done or not.

There are 2 types of thermometer: the continuous one and the instant one.

  • Using a continuous thermometer: once the piece of meat is done with preparation and seasoning, you insert the continuous thermometer to the thickest part of the meat (avoid the bone part) and cook the meat.
  • Wait until the thermometer reaches 145 degrees F then take the meat off the heat to avoid overcooking.
  • There is a rule called ‘three minutes rest time” which means the pork continues to cook after being removed 3 minutes from the heat.
  • Using an instant thermometer: cook the meat and check the doneness periodically with the instant thermometer.
  • Remember to insert it into the thickest cut of the meat for the more accurate result.
  • If the internal temperature is under 145 degrees F, you should remove the thermometer and heat it a little more.
  • For ground pork, the right temperature is about 160 degrees F.

What Happens If You Eat Slightly Undercooked Pork?

The real concern of eating undercooked meat is the salmonella bacteria or E.

coli or Trichinosis, which is the main cause of the food poisoning.

As mentioned in a previous article about pink sausage , some symptoms of people having food poisoning are nausea, vomit, diarrhea, fever, and so on.

Can Pork Be Pink When Fully Cooked?

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Similar to beefsteak, there are 4 states of cooked pork:

  • Medium rare: from 140 to 150 degrees F, the whole piece of meat is pinkish, the flesh is still clear to see, the juice is reddish.
  • Medium: from 150 to 155 degrees F, the meat is still juicy, the texture is firmer.
  • Medium well: from 155 to 160 degrees F, the whole piece has the main white color, there is a slight pinkish color at the middle of the piece of meat, the texture is firm and the flesh is not easy to be recognizable.
  • Well done: over 160 degrees F, the pork is tough and turns into white.

Can You Have Pork Slightly Pink?

There are other factors affecting the pork color, rather than it being undercooked such as: muscle quality, muscle pH, or cookery practices, etc.

That means you can’t judge the safety of pork by its color.

As mentioned above, the slightly pink meat is still fine for consuming, as long as it is not contaminated.

How to Fix Undercooked Pork?

The safe temperature for cooked pork is around 145 degrees F to 160 degrees F.

Using a thermometer is recommended for checking the accurate temperature.

It might sound a bit nuisance but it is the best way to maintain your safety.

Pork is not only delicious but also the rich source of protein lean meat.

You only need to care about the cooking process a little more in order to make use of all the benefits from it!

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