• "Cook It Safely - It's a Matter of Degrees"

    Lesson 1: Proper Minimum Internal Cooking Temperature
    In this session, you will be reviewing the correct minimum internal temperatures recommended by the FDA Model Food Code for potentially hazardous foods, including microwave cooking.

    • "Temperature Danger Zone" - the temperature range between 41 ° F (5 ° C) and 140 ° F (60 ° C) where foodborne bacteria grow quickly and make food unsafe. It is because of this temperature range that foods must be cooked thoroughly - to temperatures above 140 ° F (60 ° C) - and held either above 140 ° F (60 ° C) or below 41 ° F (5 ° C).

    • Harmful microorganisms in food can be reduced to a safe level or even eliminated by thorough cooking.

    • Different foods have different minimum internal cooking temperatures, based on the characteristic of the food (such as whether it has high or low fat content). The pathogens normally found on some foods (such as Salmonella, typically found on chicken) are killed only at a high temperature; while Trichinella, typically found in pork, is easily killed at a lower temperature.

    • Color, smell, look, or texture of a food is not enough to determine if it is cooked through or not. Foods must also be cooked for a minimum amount of time at the appropriate temperature. The FDA Model Food Code recommends minimum cooking times and temperatures to kill pathogens on food.

    • To help determine what minimum internal temperature a menu item should be, students should first determine the main ingredient of the menu item. These questions can help:
    ♣ Does the dish contain chicken, beef, fish, or pork?
    ♣ Does the dish contain ground meat?
    ♣ Is the menu item ham or bacon?
    ♣ Is the menu item a casserole, stuffed meat or pasta?
    ♣ Is it a beef or pork roast?