Preventing Foodborne Illnesses by Regulating Temperature

The old saying “keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold” is completely true. Understanding what temperatures your foods should be kept at is as important as keeping them there.

Cook foods to the right temperature

Cooking foods to the right temperature is the best way to prevent foodborne illness in hot foods. Each food has its own “safe temperature.” Even as a leftover, food should be brought up to a safe temperature before it is served. It is also important not to guess at temperatures, the only way to be sure is to use a thermometer.

Here are some of the safe temperatures for hot foods

Leftovers: 165 degrees F.
Eggs: 160 degrees F.
Sauces, soups, gravy: should be brought to a rolling boil
beef, lam, roasts, and veal steaks
medium rare: 145 degrees F.
medium: 160 degrees F.
Hamburger, meatloaf, ground pork, veal, and lamb: 160 degrees F.
Pork chops, ribs, and roasts: 160 Degrees F.
Stuffing and casseroles: 165 Degrees F.
Chicken and turkey breasts: 170 Degrees F
Whole chicken or turkey, legs, thighs, and wings: 180 degrees F.
Duck and goose: 180 Degrees F.

Cold Foods

Cold foods should be kept at a low temperature to prevent growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some tips on how to manage this.

When shopping:
Buy perishable foods last. Go straight home and do not allow food to warm.

Refrigerate Leftover Foods:
Right after you have finished eating, place leftovers in a shallow container with a lid. Refrigerate immediately.

Use Appliance Thermometer:
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are running at the right temperatures. Make sure your refrigerator is running 40 degrees F. Your freezer should maintain a temperature of 0 degrees F.
Do not overpack your refrigerator or freezer so air can properly circulate through.

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