When teaching the cooking merit badge, it is important that we emphasis safety. Proper handling of foods and cooking foods to the correct temperature are essential to preventing food poisoning.
While the safety guidelines change occasionally, the easiest way to keep up-to-date is by using the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) website. A link can be found here.
The USDA provides all the information needed to complete requirement #18 of the Cooking Merit Badge.
NOTE: The requirements have been simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the American Heritage Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements.