We know for a fact that we’re surrounded by Bacteria – they are present in the soil, air, water and the food we eat. With nutrients, moisture and favorable temperatures, they multiply at a rapid rate. Thus, it is very important to understand how the food temperature effects the growth of Bacteria.
There are 5 aspects that need to be looked into when we consider food temperature :
- The “Danger Zone” Temperature
- Cooking Temperature
- Storing Temperature
- Reheating Temperature
- Cold Storage Temperatures
The “Danger Zone” Temperature
The ideal temperature range for bacteria to grow between 4 ° and 60 °C, where the multiplying rate doubles in around 20 minutes. That’s why this range of temperatures is often called the “Danger Zone.” The USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline therefore advises consumers to never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 32 °C, food should not be left out more than 1 hour.In case you are travelling, it’s best to cool the cooked foods , pack them neatly and carry them cold.
For roasting in high temperature for items such as meat and poultry, the oven should have a temperature of at least 160°C. Whereas for vegetables, the ideal temperature for cooking is around 60° C.
Most of the times, we do not take into account the food temperature for storage. Even after food is cooked up to a safe temperature, bacteria can appear in the food and reproduce.
Thus, cooked food or leftovers ought to be stored in containers for quick cooling and refrigerated within 2 hours.
When reheating temperatures, food temperature should maintained at 75°C or until hot and steaming. If heating in the microwave oven, the food should be covered and rotated often so that heating takes place evenly. The usual time for reheating should be 2 minutes
Cold Storage Temperatures
If the storage temperature is less than 0°C, it would be.Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing bacteria to enter a dormant stage. However, these bacteria can again become active and multiply to levels if the food is heated.Hence, care should be taken when reheating frozen or cold foods.
It is very important to follow safe food-handling practices to avoid food-borne illness. Thus knowing about and maintaining the correct food temperature is very important.