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Is It Done Yet? Safe Temperatures That Keep The Germs Away

Jan 30, 2013

In order to keep your perishable foods safe to eat, it needs to be maintained at certain temperatures throughout the entire cold chain to serving. This is necessary to keeping your food out of the danger zone as previously discussed. There are a variety of germs that can grow on your food when kept at improper temperatures. To ensure the safety of your diner, it is critical to consider what temperatures your hot cooked foods are reaching in order to kill off germs. By following the USDA list of recommended safe minimum internal temperatures for at least 15 seconds that would kill the bacteria:

-Steak and Roast: 145°F

-Hamburger and Ground Beef: 160°F

-Veal: 145°F

-Lamb: 145°F

-Fish: 145°F

-Pork: 160°F

-Eggs: 160°F

-Chicken Breasts: 165°F

-Poultry: 165°F

-Casseroles: 165°F

By following such guidelines, you can kill germs/bacteria before they infect your diner. According to the CDC, "[estimated] that every year about 48 million people in the United States become ill from harmful bacteria in food; of these, about 3,000 die". The most common bacteria found in food services that are cause by improper temperatures are:

-Botulism: found in canned and vacuum-packaged foods

-Campylo-bacter: found in undercooked meat, poultry, shellfish, and raw milk

-E. Coli: found in raw vegetables, unpasteurized fruit juice, and undercooked ground beef

-Salmonella: found in undercooked chicken, raw vegetables and eggs

There are other bacteria found in food services, such as Hepatitis A, Listeria, Norovirus, Shigellosis, and Staph Infection. Those bacteria are caused by poor hygiene, cross-contamination and improper food preparation. By having such food mishandling, the diner is doomed to at least an awful case of food poisoning if not worse. Not to mention the health violations that your establishment can incur from not following the best practices for food services and handling.

Always remember to clean, separate, cook and chill your foods to maintain the proper temperatures. It's not enough to just store your food at proper temperatures, it's crucial to cook your food to the proper temperatures too! Monitor your food temperatures at every step to avoid causing your diner harm.

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