NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Give the Gift of Food Safety

Give the Gift of Food Safety

A food thermometer is one of the most important tools in promoting food safety.  For that reason, a food thermometer is a wonderful gift, and it has “I love you” written all over it!

Many home cooks use color, firmness, clear juices or shrinkage as signs of doneness. However, these are not accurate indicators.  Additionally, in some cases, looking for visual signs of doneness may result in the food being lower quality, overcooked and dry. 

Using a food thermometer is not the sign of an inexperienced cook.  Rather, it shows a desire to assure that the food has reached a safe temperature and is not overcooked. 

Safe minimum internal temperatures to cook to vary by food. Using thermometers is the only way to really know your food is thoroughly cooked, and that it has reached a temperature that will destroy any harmful bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella and listeria.

There are many types of food thermometers.  Choose the type that will best meet your needs and preferences.

A properly calibrated food thermometer is key for achieving both meat safety and quality.  Thermometers can get out of adjustment if they are jarred. Any time thermometers are dropped or exposed to extremes in temperatures, they should be calibrated. All thermometers— regardless of use—should be calibrated at least once a month to maintain their accuracy.

Next week’s column will focus on food thermometer calibration.

Source:  Michigan State University Extension, Using a Food Thermometer is Easy and Important.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/food-temperature-safety-hot-cook-5053725/  (downloaded 12/08/20)

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