Health Canada

Health Canada

December 10, 2013 13:15 ET

Use a Digital Food Thermometer for Safe Cooking

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2013) - The only reliable way to make sure that meat, poultry, fish and seafood dishes reach safe internal cooking temperatures before serving is to use a digital food thermometer.

While we often look for other signs that our food is cooked properly (for example, the colour of the meat and its juices), these methods can't accurately confirm that harmful bacteria have been killed. Bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, are unable to survive at certain high temperatures.

Every year, as many as four million Canadians are affected by foodborne illnesses. Many of these cases could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation steps.

What you should do

Protect your family by following these food safety tips:

- Cook food completely, using a clean digital thermometer to measure the temperature. There are many different types of food thermometers currently available on the Canadian market, but digital ones are considered the most accurate because they provide instant and exact temperature readings.

- Remove your food from the heat and insert the digital food thermometer through the thickest part of the meat, all the way to the middle.

- Make sure that the thermometer is not touching any bones, since they heat up more quickly than the meat and could give you a false reading.

- Follow the safe internal cooking temperatures chart to make sure that the food has been cooked to a safe internal temperature.

- If you are cooking or grilling several pieces of meat, poultry, fish or seafood, make sure to check the internal temperature of the thickest pieces because food can cook unevenly.

- For hamburgers, insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the patty, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers designed for testing whole poultry and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing beef patties.

For more information

Healthy Canadians

Safe internal cooking temperatures

Public Health Agency of Canada:

Estimates of Food-borne Illness in Canada

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