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A Food Thermometer is Key to Food Safety

Do you have a food thermometer stashed in your kitchen but are unsure how and why you should put it to use? If you cook meat regularly, using a food thermometer is a game-changer and can mean the difference between just cooked and overdone or tough meat. The only accurate way to determine if food is cooked to a safe temperature is with a digital food thermometer. 

Digital thermometers are available in different sizes and have a variety of features depending on the intended use. The prices vary greatly but you can get a decent food thermometer in the $10 – $15 range. When purchasing a food thermometer look for these features:

  • 3-5 second response time, backlit
  • Celcius/Fahrenheit selector
  • Foldaway or coverable probe.

Food Thermometer Tips:

  1. Color is not an accurate reflection of “doneness”. Burgers often turn brown before reaching a safe temperature and chicken can reach a safe temperature while presenting a pink or tan color.
  2. The thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of food for the most accurate reading, but measured in different places to ensure food is cooked evenly.
  3. After cooking, letting food rest will allow the temperature to continue rising and destroy any leftover harmful bacteria. The final temperature reading can be taken after the food has rested.
  4. Follow the FDA-recommended safe minimum internal temperatures for best results!

For more information on ways to properly use a food thermometer check out these Safe Plates resources: 

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