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There is a similarity between all thermometers whether they are designed for body or food use. A medical thermometer is precise in its measurements and used on the human to measure the body temperature. Mostly, the temperature tells more about one’s general health. Food thermometers, on the other hand, take the guesswork out of culinary arts. A food thermometer should tell you if food is under-cooked or overcooked and if it needs more cooking. It may also help you figure out if the food is safe to eat. Thanks to technological advancements, many types of thermometers are in the market, including instant-read digital thermometers that you can use for accurate readings.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what thermometers are, we will quickly dig into the various types of thermometers available and their use.

Digital Thermometers

Standard digital thermometers are designed with electronic heat sensors to determine body temperature. They come in different shapes and sizes to suit the preferences of the users. Generally, they will have two sides: one that should touch the body part and the other end that should indicate the temperature.

You can measure the temperature in three distinct ways: oral, rectal and axillary methods. The axillary temperatures, taken under the arms are usually the least accurate. Temperatures taken from the rectum offer the best readings for babies. As for the adults and older children, oral readings are the most accurate.

At no time should you use an oral thermometer on the rectum or vice versa? If you plan to take temperatures from both body parts, it is essential to have two different thermometers.

Pacifier Thermometer

It is mainly used for babies who use pacifiers. You should handle the pacifier thermometer in the same way the baby would suck on a pacifier. Then, you will have to wait until the highest temperature is recorded.

Electronic Ear Thermometer

As the name suggests, the ear thermometer takes temperature inside the ear. To record the most accurate measurements, you should place the thermometer in the right position. You might also want to clear the wax of the canal for accurate results.

Mercury Thermometer

Primarily, this kind of thermometers is made of a glass tube with mercury inside. The tube is placed underneath the tongue where it detects body temperature, which causes the mercury to rise. The point at which the mercury stops is your body temperature. Today, the use of mercury thermometers has reduced because many people have realized the risk associated with exposure to mercury.

Temporal Artery Thermometers

They are sold by the name “forehead thermometers” and used on foreheads. A forehead thermometer works when you place it on the temporal artery on the forehead. It records the infrared temperature that is on the head.

Can Each Of These Types Of Clinical Thermometers Be Used On Food?

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Logically, it would not be appropriate to use clinical thermometers on food. Why? There are multiple reasons why we should use various thermometers for their respective purposes. Here are some of them:


It is clear that gadgets used on body parts such as the rectum and mouth cannot be used on food. It is unhygienic to dip a thermometer in the rectum, armpits or mouth then used it on food that is supposed to be fed to other people.


Clinical thermometers are mostly designed to measure temperatures not more than 100 °C and not less than 10 °C. If you were to dip a clinical thermometer in a chicken pot straight from a 200 °C oven, it would not work; the thermometer would not resist the extreme temperatures. It would possibly break and spoil the food.

Also, clinical thermometers are used on body parts that call for tender designs that won’t harm the body when inserted. On the other hand, food thermometers should be designed with sharp endings so as to poke through food such as steak and guarantee proper cooking. For these reasons, it is not right to use a clinical thermometer on food.

What Are The Differences Between Medical And Food Thermometers?

Medical thermometers are designed to record body temperatures. Beyond the usual body temperature range, they become prone to damages. Food thermometers, on the other hand, have unique features and functions that allow them to record extremely high or low temperatures effectively.


The ThermoPro food thermometer accurately detects every rise or drop in temperature when you are cooking food and helps you to know when the food is ready. Only after the food is heated to a certain temperature can you ascertain that the bacteria have been killed. The clinical thermometers record body temperature while examining the health status of an individual. Any figure above or below 37°C could indicate an illness.

Food thermometers are used in the kitchen for measuring food temperature. Clinical thermometers are used in hospital settings or at home but on people. It is important to know how every thermometer works in order to take the right measures.

As discussed above, there are various types of thermometers used for medical purposes. These thermometers differ depending on the area they are most effective. For instance, a forehead thermometer works perfectly on the forehead while an oral one is most effective when placed in the mouth. If you are looking for the perfect thermometer for your baby, the ThermoPro Digital Medical Infrared Baby Thermometer is the best to use. It is designed to offer comfort and take accurate measurements within a short time.

Similarly, different types of thermometers can be used on food. Digital food thermometers display the temperatures on a screen within two to five seconds. Other models of food thermometers include the candy or deep fry thermometers that measure incredibly high temperatures. Some appliances come with pre-installed with food thermometers. Such appliances include the freezer and oven. Whichever food thermometer you choose to acquire, it is vital to be clear about its purpose and find the most effective piece.

Final Note

When looking for a thermometer, you need to figure out where exactly you want to use it. This guide has everything you need to understand about the various functionalities of both clinical and food thermometers. It will help you find the best thermometer for you. Be sure to clean all your thermometers after use in order to keep your hygiene standards high. Also, you may want to consult with your doctor before you buy a medical thermometer.

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