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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

The Quad Cities’ Food Rescue Partnership announces a Food Rescue Workshop taking place October 4, 2018 in Davenport, IA.
Posted: June 26, 2018
PRESS RELEASE May 18, 2018 RE: Summer Food Safety As the warm weather months are filled with family outings, vacations, and cookouts, the Scott County Health Department would like to remind everyone to follow some simple but important food safety practices to avoid illness. To protect yourself,...
Posted: May 18, 2018
The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program is signing up volunteers now to provide their health data for use in thousands of health studies. This is how breakthroughs happen. You can make a difference. Learn more about how you can join the effort to help speed up health research.
Posted: May 17, 2018