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Food safety should be at everyone’s top concern with regards to consuming safe meats. It is up to the consumer to make sure the food is handled properly to minimize the risk for food borne illness. How well cooked an Italian sausage is can prove to be a mystery of whether it is finished cooking or not, especially on a grill. When the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit, a sausage is considered to be fully cooked and safe to eat.

To know when an Italian sausage is fully cooked, the internal temperature must often be checked during the cooking process. If the outside is cooking more rapidly than the inside, turn down the heat so that the inside can catch up to the outside.

Pick up an Italian sausage with a pair of tongs and set it on a plate, removing it from the cooking surface. Choose one that is slightly larger than the rest, as this one will have the longest cooking time needed to reach the desired internal temperature.

Puncture the sausage with the instant read thermometer, entering from one end and extending into the middle of the sausage. This will give an accurate reading, as there is more meat surrounding the thermometer stem.

Wait for the temperature reading to stop moving. This will take less than about thirty seconds. Sausage made from pork, beef, veal and lamb needs to be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken and turkey sausage should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Continue cooking, if the sausage did not reach the target temperature. Repeat taking readings of the internal temperature as needed, to ensure a fully cooked sausage.

Clean off the thermometer with an alcohol wipe to prevent cross contamination to other food items. Also, clean off the plate if the food was not fully cooked when it was used to check the temperature before placing the meat on the dish again.


Take the temperature away from the heat source to prevent a false reading. When the cooking temperature is constant the food should be done cooking around the same time.


Consuming undercooked meats can lead to food borne illness.

Wild game meats may be infected with Trichinella spiralis, the organism that causes trichinosis.

About the Author

Andrew Youngker

Based out of Reno, Nev., Andrew Youngker has been writing since 2007. He writes articles for various websites, covering cooking and education. Youngker is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.