Cooking and reheating are the most effective ways to eliminate bacterial hazards in food. Most foodborne bacteria and viruses can be killed when food is cooked or reheated long enough at sufficient high temperature. The core temperature of food should reach at least 75℃.
How can we ensure that our foods are safe for consumption? Is there any sign indicating that the food is done? Let's go through the questions below!
Do you cook or reheat food correctly? Let's go through the main points:
- All foods should be thoroughly cooked with the core temperature reaching at least 75℃. Using a food thermometer to measure the core temperature of food is the best way to judge whether the food is safe for consumption. Food thermometers should be properly cleaned and disinfected both before and after use. If it is not feasible to measure the core temperature of the food, the following methods of visual inspection can be applied:
- Red meat: inner part of meat should not be red in colour and meat juice should run clear.
- Poultry: inner part of meat should not be pink in colour and meat juice should run clear.
- Seafood: fish should be cooked until they turn opaque and can be flaked and boned easily; shellfish should be cooked until the shells open naturally.
- Eggs: yolk and white are firm; don't use recipes for dishes in which the eggs remain raw or are partially cooked unless pasteurized eggs are used.
- All leftovers should be reheated with the core temperature of food reaching at least 75℃. Measuring the core temperature with a food thermometer is the most accurate means to judge whether the food is thoroughly reheated. The thermometer should be properly cleaned and disinfected both before and after use. If it is not available, the food should be reheated until boiling before consumption.
- For hot-holding, the thoroughly cooked or reheated food should be kept at above 60 °C to avoid bacterial growth.