Time to brush up on your food safety know how!
Here is step 3 of the food safety basics: Cook to the right temperature
Bacteria multiply quickly in the danger zone between temperatures of 4 C to 60 C (40 F to 140 F). Cooking food properly is the best way to kill bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria.
How to avoid the danger zone:
- Use a clean food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods to make sure they are completely cooked. Colour does not always tell you if your food is safe to eat. Always follow internal cooking temperatures to be safe!
- Use the safe internal cooking temperatures chart to find the correct internal temperature for the meat you are cooking.
- How to Use a Meat Thermometer: Insert food thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Make sure the thermometer is not touching bone or fat. On a whole chicken or turkey, the best spot to place the food thermometer is into the thigh meat between drumstick and breast. For a burger, slide the food thermometer into the side of the patty rather than through the top. Check each piece separately if you have more than one piece. Use a digital thermometer for more accurate readings. Clean your food thermometer in warm, soapy water before each use.
- Make sure that cooked foods don’t come into contact with any food that hasn’t been cooked.
- If you are holding food before serving, make sure to keep it at 60 C (140 F). This also applies to transporting food to a potluck or event. Keep it warm using an insulated container. Bacteria can grow quickly in the danger zone between 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F).
- When reheating leftovers, make sure to warm them to 74 C (165 F) and it is usually best to only reheat them once.
- Consume only pasteurized milk, apple juice and cider. Pasteurization is a process of quickly heating food for a short period to kill bacteria that could potentially make you sick. This also includes products made from milk like cheese.
- Some recipes for eggnog, mayonnaise, aioli and salad dressing call for eggs but don’t require any cooking. Use pasteurized egg in these recipes. Raw egg may contain salmonella.
Read More: Food Safety Basics Rule 4 – Keep Food Chill