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Most of us rely on our senses throughout the day,  and cooking to us is no different. We typically think we can smell when the cookies are done, or when a piece of steak looks ready by relying on our sight. However, relying on smell, sight, and taste alone to determine whether something is cooked or not is not safe!

 

Make sure your food is cooked and served safely by following these tips

Use a food thermometer to ensure that food is cooked at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.

Keep food hot after cooking (at 60°C or above). Bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply quickest between 5°C and 60°C. Also, make sure your cooked food is always served hot by using a warming tray, or slow cooker. Check the temperature frequently to make sure that it doesn’t drop from the holding temperature of 60°C.

Reheat your food items over the stove, in the oven or by microwaving them thoroughly at 74˚C or higher if you want to make sure that harmful bacteria is killed. 

How to use a thermometer

For poultry

Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast. Make sure your poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 74˚C.

For meat and fish

Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, and preferably the most centralized area. Make sure your whole cut meats  and fish are cooked to an internal temperature of 63˚C, and minced meat to an internal temperature of 74˚C.

For other dishes

Insert the thermometer in the thickest and most centralized part of the dish, and make sure you cook your leftovers to a temperature of 74˚C.

Temperature quick-guide

Category Food Temperature (°C)
Meat Beef, Veal, Lamb, Hamburgers 74
Poultry Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose 74
Egg Dishes Egg Dishes, Egg 71
Cooked until yolk and
whites are firm
  1. Insert the food thermometer away from fatty areas and away from an area where a bone is close, as doing so might skew your temperature reading.
  2. Any dish that contains poultry, meat, fish or eggs should be checked in various areas to ensure proper temperatures everywhere.