Whether you cook food safely or not can mean the difference between enjoying a meal and becoming sick from it. How do you cook a particular food so it’s safe to eat?

Many people count on their cookbooks to tell them, but that may not be a good idea, according to researchers at North Carolina State University who looked at 29 popular cookbooks and examined recipes containing raw animal ingredients. Of nearly 1,500 recipes with meats that could be tested with a digital thermometer, only 123 gave a necessary final cooking temperature, and of these only 89 provided a correct temperature.

A better source of information? Check out the USDA Fact Sheets about safe food handling at www.fsis.usda.gov.