»

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

If you were at work on December 3 rd , you might have felt a light breeze followed by some clapping. That light breeze was a collective exhale from the Health Department after staff learned that after several years of work, the department was officially accredited by the Public Health Accreditation...
Posted: December 11, 2018
CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak.There have been no cases of illness associated with this outbreak in Iowa; however, Iowans are included in the nationwide safety alert...
Posted: November 20, 2018
Elevator modernization starting Wednesday, November 14, 2018 may increase elevator wait times, until completion in January 2019. Regularly check this webpage for status updates. Affected offices and departments on floors 3-6 of the Administrative Center include Health Department, Community Services...
Posted: October 31, 2018