Question: I recently roasted a whole chicken for dinner. It wasn’t until later that I realized some of it was still pink on the inside. No one got ill, but was the chicken really safe?
Answer: Yes, cooked chicken that’s still pink can be safe to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture — but only if the chicken’s internal temperature has reached 165° F throughout.
As the USDA points out, it’s not unusual for chicken, turkey and other types of poultry to remain pink in some areas, even after the poultry has been safely cooked.
The only way to accurately determine whether cooked chicken has reached a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.
To determine if your cooked chicken is safe to eat, be sure to measure the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as in the thickest part of the breast. When all the parts have reached at least 165° F, you can safely eat the chicken, including any meat that’s still pink.
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