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An essential element of food safety is making sure that your prepared food is cooked until it reaches a safe temperature. You may ask, “Why use the food thermometer“? Well, the use of a food thermometer is necessary because every year in the United States millions of people are stricken with foodborne illness, and thousands of people die as a result of such illnesses. This is why USDA recommends using food thermometer tools to measure the temperature of food. Here are 6 reasons why using food thermometer tools is essential to ensuring the safety of cooked food.
Six Reasons Why Food Thermometers Should Be Used
1. Decreases the Risk of Foodborne Illnesses
Whether you work in a restaurant or you are a home chef, averting foodborne illness is extremely important. The USDA asserts that foodborne illness is preventable and is responsible for nearly 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths every year in America. Foodborne diseases are a result of eating contaminated food. One of the ways to avoid such contamination is through the use of a food thermometer. According to the USDA, the internal temperature of food should always be checked. This is particularly true of meat, poultry, and food containing eggs. Food thermometers control contamination from various bacteria including salmonella, e-Coli, and listeria.
Additionally, safe minimum internal temperatures vary depending on the type of food that is prepared. Those responsible for preparing food should know what these temperatures are and use a food thermometer to ensure that foods meet the minimum temperature recommendations established by the USDA. The USDA explains that checking the internal temperature of food is just as important to preventing foodborne illness as washing your hands.
2. Using a Food Thermometer Helps to Avoid Overcooking
Once food has reached a certain internal temperature, it should be removed from the oven or stove. Food thermometers tell us when food is done so that it is not overcooked. Overcooked food is dry and overcooking often decreases the nutritional value of the food because heat depletes vitamins. In addition, many foods are drained of all of their flavors if they are overcooked. Food that is cooked too long is also more difficult for the body to metabolize. This causes food to stay in the stomach longer which causes the release of toxins. Lastly, overcooked foods can also contain carcinogens that are harmful to human health.
3. Using a Food Thermometer Helps You to Avoid Undercooking
In addition to carrying foodborne illnesses, undercooked food is also inedible. The use of a food thermometer ensures that your meals will be cooked for the proper amount of time and taste great. Failure to cook food to the proper temperature can also affect the texture and the taste of food. Even foods that do not contain animal or animal byproducts should not be undercooked.
4. Individual ingredients need to be a certain temperature
Some recipes require certain foods to be a specific temperature so that they will produce the proper outcome. For instance, to proof yeast, the water needs to be between 105° and 110°. In addition, pastries and certain candies have to be cooked to a certain temperature. For example, the caramel should be cooked to a final temperature of 234°. Access to a food thermometer will ensure that each ingredient is at the proper temperature for cooking. This guarantees that the resulting food or dessert will taste the way that it should.
5. Preparing Food For a Baby
Infants and children are particularly susceptible to being harmed by foods that are not the correct temperature. Most notably a baby’s bottle should be around 98.6°. If milk is heated to temperatures higher than this, a baby may suffer burns. Overheating milk also diminishes the nutritional value of the milk. Additionally, many parents like to make their own baby food so that they have control over the ingredients their children are being exposed to. These foods must be brought to the appropriate temperature so that foodborne illnesses can be avoided.
6. To tell if the food has the right internal temperature
You can’t tell whether or not the food is done just by looking at it. Food thermometers give cooks a way to determine if the temperature is correct using a precise tool to gauge temperature. Relying on any other method to determine the temperature of the food can result in overcooked or undercooked meals. For instance, some cooks and chefs use factors such as firmness and color, the color of juices, and shrinkage as a determination of doneness. However, this is an inaccurate way to determine food temperature. Using this method of determining the doneness level of food may result in the overcooked and dry food. On the other hand, the use of a food thermometer will ensure that the food is the correct temperature.
Tips On Using Food Thermometers
There are a plethora of different food thermometers on the market. However, the USDA recommends that you use an instant-read thermometer when measuring the internal temperature of food. The internal temperature should be checked near the end of cooking but prior to the food being completely done. The food thermometer should also be placed in the thickest area of the food. You should also make sure that you do not touch the fat, the gristle, or the bone when checking the temperature. Doing so will give you an inaccurate reading. A final tip is to make sure that you compare your temperature reading to safe internal temperatures established by the USDA. Most digital food thermometers have preprogrammed temperature recommendations for conventional foods.
When choosing a thermometer, it is critical to keep in mind that certain thermometers are designed for specific types of food. You should select a thermometer that is consistent with the type of food that you are cooking. Thermapros offers some of the best thermometers in the market. These include instant-read meat thermometers, probe meat thermometers, and wireless meat thermometers. The company offers food thermometers in a range of sizes and prices to meet your needs.
Indeed, food thermometers are an essential component in preparing food that is free from foodborne illnesses. In addition, using a thermometer to gauge the temperature of your food ensures that it retains its nutritional value and remains tasty. A food thermometer is the best way to determine the internal temperature of your food and will assists you in making safe, flavorful and nutritious dishes.