Properly cooking food to a safe temperature destroys the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.
Safe temperatures vary from food to food. Follow doneness tests given with the recipes. Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees F, and reheated sauces, soups, and gravies should be brought to a rolling boil.
It's essential to use a clean food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, casseroles, and other foods are properly cooked all the way through.
Cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying. Follow these steps to keep foods cold.
When shopping, buy perishable foods, including meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish, last. Take them straight home and refrigerate them promptly.
Refrigerate leftover foods from a meal immediately after you have finished eating. Leftovers should not stay out of the refrigerator longer than two hours (one hour if the temperature is above 80 degrees F).
Use appliance thermometers to ensure that your refrigerator and freezer are maintaining proper temperatures for food safety. Refrigerate at or below 40 degrees F; freeze at or below 0 degrees F. Because cold air needs to circulate the unit to keep foods safe, avoid packing the refrigerator too full.
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator -- never at room temperature. A few exceptions include breads and sweets that specifically call for thawing at room temperature. Make sure that thawing foods do not drip onto other foods. Some foods may be successfully thawed in the microwave; follow your microwave manufacturer's directions and cook the food immediately after thawing. You can also thaw foods by placing the item in a leakproof plastic bag and immersing it in cold tap water in the sink. Every half hour, change the water to keep it cold and turn the food over if it's not fully submerged; cook food immediately after thawing.
Bacteria thrive at temperatures between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, so keeping hot foods hot is just as important as keeping cold foods cold.
-To ensure perfectly cooked meat everytime and to avoid the consequences of undercooked meat, it's important to learn how to use a meat thermometer. No one wants a day after surprises. There are 2 basic kinds of meat thermometers; Oven-going and instant read. Let's start with Oven-going. For larger meat such as roast, use this type of thermometer before roasting. Get it. Oven-going means it goes in the oven. Stick it at least 2-inches and at the center of the thickest portion of the meat avoiding fat and bone. Put your roast with the thermometer in the oven to bake. When the thermometer reaches 145 to 155 degrees, it's dinner time. There's another type of thermometer that works just as well-- instant read. Tuck the sky in when the cooking is done. Place this thermometer in the same way giving him 15 to 20 seconds to register the temperature. No matter which way you measure using a meat thermometer is a must-do food safety step.