Thermometers are VERY important when it comes to food handling
and cooking. The most important thing to remember is that harmful
bacteria thrive between the temperatures of 40ºF and 140ºF.
Therefore keep uncooked food at a temperature of 40ºF or less
before cooking, and, cook food above 140ºF to 180ºF depending on
the type. The most dangerous undercooked food is meat (of any kind).
[see the cooking meats page]
Food processing facilities are inspected regularly and one of the
things they are most critiqued on is food storage and cooking
temperatures. The product coming to you "safely" is of utmost
importance. We must, at our homes, do our part in keeping the safe
foods we buy "safe" to consume!
How can you get a handle on all of this? Thermometers! They can
tell you what you need to know about any food that is temperature
sensitive (which most are). The processors use them and those
thermometers are an integral part of their passing inspection, and,
delivering to you the consumer, the best product they can. Hey, if
they use them so should you!
Here are the basics.
Refrigerators: 36ºF to 40ºF
Freezers: anything less than 0ºF
Here are pictures of various thermometers.
This is a meat thermometer.
This Thermometer is used to actually pierce into the meat to test
the internal temperature which means the done level. Always
test the thickest portion of meat staying away from the bone.
This is a frying or oil thermometer.
This thermometer is used to keep track of cooking oil when that
oil is used for frying.