Food poisoning (technically called it foodborne illness) happens when we eat or drink something that is contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses, or with some chemical that causes illness. Every year forty eight million people in the United States become ill from food, 12,800 are hospitalized, and three(3,000) thousand people die from foodborne illnesses.
Cooking above 130°F, salmonella bacteria are unable to grow, as are all other common bugs. Food safety is important. Wash hands after handling raw meat, and wash all surfaces and utensils after they come in contact with raw meat. It is more likely that the raw meat will contaminate those surfaces and that those surfaces will pass the bugs onto other foods than you will become sick from the meat directly.
Keeping the temperature of your hot food at 140°F+, prevents bacteria from growing. There are two ways to prevent bacteria from being a problem with food: one is to keep the food cool, and the other is to keep it very warm.
Keep cold foods at 40°F or cooler.
Wash all fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or cooking them. Use a vegetable brush to scrub melons and cucumbers, and then dry with a paper towel. Consider the vegetable brush contaminated, so sanitize it frequently.
Chicken held at 148°F for three minutes will kill 99.999999% of salmonella. While most conventional recipes say take chicken out at an internal temperature of 160°F, it only takes fourteen seconds to kill 99.999999% of bacteria. But at 160°F the proteins unfold, release their moisture, and become dry. Cooking at a lower temperature allows you to get that same “kill” rate of bacteria without sacrificing the quality of the meat or vegetables.
|Min Internal Temp °F||6.5 log lethality||7.0 log lethality|
|130°F||112 min||121 min|
|135°F||36 min||37 min|
|140°F||12 min||12 min|
|145°F||4 min||4 min|
|150°F||67 seconds||72 seconds|
Note: The 6.5 log lethality means you are killing 99.99997 percent of the bugs.
A 7.0 log lethality means you are killing 99.9999999 per cent of the bugs.
Bottom line: use a thermometer.
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