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May 31, 2013 10:33 AM

Pink pork tenderloin safe to eat?

I cooked it to 165 degrees; it looked rare.

My coworker says I'm going to die, and that pork should not be pink.


(The picture below is after I nuked it at lunch. It was more pink this morning when I cooked it)


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  1. It's more than fully cooked but I'd worry more about the taste/texture after it's been cooked to 165 and then microwaved.

    1. Your co-worker is a twit.

      The current recommendation for pork is an internal temp of 145. 165, as mentioned by chowser, is WAY overcooked. Why it 'looked' rare, I don't know but it wasn't.

      19 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        If you don't think it should look rare/pink if my ready temp thermometer says 165, then maybe I should buy another thermometer to make sure I'm getting an accurate reading.

        Now I'm concerned!


        1. re: mike2401

          You should settle down. I eat medium rare pork all the time and I'm not dead.

          In the old days there was a deadly organism called Trichinosis that was found in undercooked pork. Modern food handling standards have so reduced that organism to lessthan 10 cases a year, mostly from wild game.

          In other words, eat your pork how you like and dont sweat it.

          1. re: JonParker

            I don't like to sweat my pork. I prefer it roasted or grilled. Har Har!

            1. re: JonParker

              I too used to think that pork had to cooked to well done, because of 2 biology classes that taught that we could catch trichinosis by eating undercooked pork. But pork is raised differently that it was, and anyway, most of it isn't raised in the deep South anyway.

              I enjoy my pork a lot more now that I eat it slightly pink, I have to say. And especially since it is so much leaner than it used to be.

              1. re: sueatmo

                There is no connection between pork raised in the deep South and trichinosis.

            2. re: mike2401

              You are fine. Some pork remains pink even when fully cooked. Here are links to a news report and also a test of the new lower-temperature (145 degree) guideline



            3. re: c oliver

              Second on the 145. Trichinosis is killed at 140 but if your thermometer is a tiny bit off, 145 is listed to be safe.

              Btw, I found out last week that the colour of the meat depends on the breed. This info was from a pig farmer.

              1. re: jammy

                Yep and yep. And trichinosis in grocery store meat is largely extinct.

                Your thermometer might stop working but it's not going to be off by 25 degrees.

                1. re: jammy

                  I've read that trichinosis is killed at 137°. I try to get it close to 145. I have a brother who is great at BBQ of all kinds (mostly pulled pork and beef brisket) but he is terrible at pork loin. I had some overcooked last weekend. His wife would cook whole pork loins to 170 minimum, until it's practically inedible. My brother cuts them to 1" chops and also overcooks them, but not as bad as his wife. I have never said anything because I am a guest in their home. If I was ever asked, I'd suggest an instant meat thermometer and pull it by 130° to 135°.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Trichinosis can be killed below 137, but it takes extended periods as the temperature gets lower.

                    It is killed instantly at 144...that is why it's recommended to cook pork to 145.

                    Cooking it a few degrees cooler is fine so long as you hold it at that temperature for a few minutes.

                    Few, if any, trichinosis cases are related to factory raised pork. Most cases come from wild game...bear being one of the worst offenders.

                    1. re: JayL

                      "Few if any cases are related to factory raised pork. Most cases come from wild game...bear being one of the worst offenders."

                      Jay you can say this until your blue in the face but for some, especially older folks, the fear of worms in ones body with no cure is just to embedded.

                      For me, its pink or don't bother and your instructions are right on the mark.

                      1. re: Tom34

                        Well, "older folks" must be pretty dang old. I'm 66 and I've always known this. I think it's that some people don't like being confused by the facts :)

                        1. re: c oliver

                          "Some people don't like being confused by the facts"........This seems to be a systematic problem with many subjects these days & I think it could be a byproduct / conditioning of listening to our politician's BS year after year :-).

                          Seriously though, a nice piece of pink well marbled Berkshire pork is a real treat for somebody like me who grew up on shake & bake dried out shoe leather pork.

                          1. re: Tom34

                            I keep saying it's about time to buy a big freezer and get some super, local meat.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              If budget is a concern, used freezers can be had very reasonably on Craigslist and if its going in the basement a few nicks and scratches probably doesn't matter.

                              A good vacuum sealer really helps. I will be moving vac/sealed steaks from the freezer to the frig Fri morn for Sat eve.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                Are used freezers particularly non-energy efficient? I realize that the age matters a lot probably but I'm thinking most people don't get rid of newer ones.

                                My FoodSaver is my good friend :) Before I got it, I would never have frozen "good" meat or fish. It's one of those items that pays for itself. I can take a steak out after months and it's still red.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I don't think the older ones are as efficient as the newer ones but I do know the frost free are not as efficient as the manual defrost units. I have the manual defrost which I do with little effort once a year. Many say the manual defrost is also better for long term storage.

                                  FoodSavers rock. I have 2 of the original 1980's Italian made nozzle units and love them. If you search "Foodsaver" on Chow there are several threads on the subject where I wrote a couple long well researched posts on the subject.

                                  Cheapest price for Bags I have found is at "Webrestaurantstore". 300 count quart "Food fresh Vacu Strip bags" are about .18 cents per bag and gallon bags are under .25 cents to the front door. Much, much cheaper than Sams, BJ's, Costco & Walmart.

                                  Little tip with shell fish.....wrap shrimp & lobster tails in cheap butcher paper or brown lunch bags to keep the shells from puncturing the plastic bags. Then stuff into the Vacuum sealer bags and vacuum seal. Then your have a great surf and turf without leaving the house. Throw in a few microbrews and its heaven on the cheap.

                  1. re: primebeefisgood

                    Cool. I'll notch it down a bit. Thanks.

                2. I'm not sure if in my forty-some years of takin' up space on this planet I ever called someone a "twit", but c oliver is right: - "Your co-worker is a twit."

                  Hell, I won't even eat pork if it's not still pink.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    Chuckle out loud :)

                    Yes, on the rare (ha) occasions that my pork gets cooked beyond 145, I feel like a failure. I don't like grey pork.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      I agree with the exception of braised shoulder (carnitas) and ribs.

                    2. BTW, back in the 1960s (yes THAT long ago), I worked in the parasitology department at the CDC. Even then trichinosis was pretty much a non-event, as mentioned, in commercial meat.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: c oliver

                        Yeah, people made it out like it was a common occurrence. Very, very rare even back then. Changes in feeding practices have all but eliminated trichinosis in today's pork.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          That is not under cooked. When I cook a tenderloin, I tie it to make it as round as possible for even cooking. I then brown all sides evenly on the stove top in an old cast iron pan then finish in the oven to about 130 and pull it. During the rest it usually comes up to about 145 which is pink. I do the same thing for the whole loin.

                        2. Get a new thermometer. Enjoy pink pork. Tell your coworker that s/he is going to die, too.

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: sandylc

                            I didn't know twit-itis was fatal...but it ought to be.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Ha. I did, of course, mean eventually!

                            2. re: sandylc

                              Before spending unnecessary money, dip your thermometer into a cup of boiling water. If it's close to 212F, save your money.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                If you're at a higher elevation you should find out what the boiling point of water is where you are. Here it's 198°F. It would be a shame to throw away a perfectly good thermometer thinking it's off by 14 degrees.

                                Enter your elevation on this page and it'll tell you:

                                1. re: Soul Vole

                                  What a great reference!!! We live at 6400' and I know it makes a difference.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Oh yeah, it certainly does.

                                    The rough rule of thumb is that the boiling point drops 1°F for every 500' up. So even at 2500' you might think your thermometer is off by 5° even though it's exactly accurate, if what you're expecting is 212°.

                                    And in cooking it certainly makes a difference too. At 7400' I can make fairly decent bread, but really good bread still eludes me. Figuring out rice was an actual project -- lots of burned yet undercooked rice in the trash till I finally got something that works.

                                    1. re: Soul Vole

                                      Same here for rice, and I'm only at 5200. I've learned to add more water when I start than the usual 1 cup of rice to 2 cups water. It usually is about 1/4 cup more.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      Which is why the water/ice method is easier to perform in a more accurate manner than the boiling water method...

                                    3. re: Soul Vole

                                      And for those who either don't know their elevation (or just want to confirm it), if you type in your address at this site, they'll give your exact elevation according to Google Maps:


                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Love it! You are 6330 feet above me and Julie, 5130 feet. Despite always being the tallest girl in school, I suddenly feel very small.

                                          1. re: EM23

                                            Ha! Where I live it's pretty flat, with the mountains to the west, so it doesn't feel like I'm that high. Except for the incessant water drinking I do :-P

                                            BTW I lied, I'm not at 5200. I'm at 5112. I did sit above the mile high line at the Rockies baseball game the other day though.

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              those 88 feet destroy any credibility you once held. I trusted you.

                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                <I did sit above the mile high line at the Rockies baseball game the other day though.>?
                                                Something to cross off the bucket list! But are you telling the truth?

                                                1. re: EM23

                                                  Haha! Yes! I can't say I tried to boil water while sitting up there though.

                                            2. re: c oliver

                                              Isn't it? I live in a somewhat hilly area, lots of hills and canyons, and it was fun to check elevations for other houses on the street, and on surrounding streets, to see how much of a slope there really is, how much steeper the other end of the street is, etc. (That would be really good for planning walking or running trips, to either increase the workout, or reduce it).

                                              I now know I'm at 1,000 feet, too.

                                        2. re: greygarious

                                          Good advice. I've had them die but I've never had one off by >25 degrees as OP fears. S/he hasn't reported in in a while so hope ok.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            Absolutely BRILLIANT @greygarious !!

                                            I boiled some water and the redi-temp thermo show 209 degrees. I also have an infrared thermometer gun (soo much fun), and that was similar.

                                            I guess well done (even to 165) can still be pink!