Temperature Control

Temperature Control

Cooking

Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

The best way to make sure cooked food is safe is to:

  • Use a clean thermometer which measures the internal temperature of cooked foods, to make sure meat, poultry, casseroles and other foods are cooked all the way through.
  • Cook roasts and steaks to at least 145°F. Whole poultry should be cooked to 165°F for doneness.
  • Cook ground beef, where bacteria can spread during processing, to at least 155°F. Information from the Centers for Disease Control link eating undercooked, pink ground beef with a higher risk of illness. If a thermometer is not available, do not eat ground beef that is still pink inside.
  • Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm (145°F). Avoid recipes where eggs remain raw or partially cooked.
  • Fish should be cooked to 145°F, be opaque and flake easily with a fork.
  • When cooking in a microwave, make sure there are no cold spots in the food where bacteria can live. For best results, cover the food, stir and rotate it for even cooking. It should reach a temperature of 165°F throughout.
  • Bring sauces, soups, and gravy to a boil when reheating.
  • Heat leftovers to at least 165°F.

Chilling

Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Your refrigerator should be set no higher than 40°F and the freezer should be at 0°F. Check the temperatures with an appliance thermometer.

Follow these steps:

  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within two hours or sooner.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
  • Don't pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.

News & Notices

Sign your community or workplace up to participate in Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative annual walk. Learn more about walking to make Iowa healthier and to promote healthy lifestyles! http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/events/annual-walk/resources/ .
Posted: August 18, 2017
A new counterfeit opioid drug has been found in Iowa. These counterfeit pills that have been made to look like the prescription pain pill oxycodone were found to have much more powerful and dangerous opioid drugs mixed within the pill. Click here to learn more.
Posted: July 17, 2017
Scott County Health Department will be partnering with Greater Than AIDS and Walgreens Pharmacy for National HIV Testing Day 2017. Free rapid testing will be available at Walgreens Pharmacy, 1805 Brady Street Davenport on June 27, 28, and 29 from 3:00-7:00pm. Click here to learn more:
Posted: June 9, 2017