What is the core cooking and reheating temperature for food?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “What is the core cooking and reheating temperature for food?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how should you check the cooking and reheating temperature, and is it safe to eat reheated food? 

What is the core cooking and reheating temperature for food?

The core cooking and reheating temperature for food ranges from 75-120°C in different food items. It also depends whether you are cooking an item or reheating it. The most susceptible food items that can actually pose a threat to your health include meat, poultry, and dairy items. These are the most perishable and rich in nutrients. 

The high nutrient content and moisture makes up a very good food for microorganisms to grow. When such foods are improperly cooked or reheated, the microorganisms gain entry into the human body and cause diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, vomiting, food poisoning, and even serious ones like typhoid and hepatitis. 

While cooking, it is also very important to take care of hygiene. Food safety and quality practices must always be ensured in the kitchen. 

The nutritional content of a food also decreases when excess heat is given – it can denature proteins, vitamins, and minerals. That is why going for the optimal cooking time required to kill bacteria should be the priority. You can simply overcook the meat products to ensure that the meat is free from all life forms, but then you will be compromising on its nutritional content and taste. 

You can read about a specific food item and its core temperature requirement here

What is the danger zone temperature for food? 

Bacteria grow the most between 4°C to 60°C. This is the temperature range that should be avoided at all costs. That is why the refrigerators operate at 4°C or even lower. 

Considering this range, is it safe if the core temperature of my food is 60 or above? Not quite. 

There are some bacteria that can survive above this temperature as well. This is exactly why you need to go higher than this temperature. 

60°C is not the temperature at which you would want to cook your food. This temperature range indicates the presence of the most microorganisms in your food. 

How to check the core cooking and reheating temperature? 

It is best to check the core cooking and reheating temperature with a food thermometer. The core temperature should be maintained for a minimum of 2 minutes before you can take it out of the pan or the oven. 

Just putting the food in the oven and setting the temperature at 75°C is not a good practice. Always try using a method that will allow you to check the core temperature with a thermometer every 30 seconds. This is possible when you use open containers like pans. 

If you want to use the oven, what you can do is actually set the temperature even higher than the 75°C mark, because the oven will take time to reach that temperature and so will the core of your food item. Consider stake, for example. If you place it in a pan on high heat, it will just burn the outside and the inside can still be raw. 

That is why you need a temperature thermometer. 

Is it safe to eat reheated food? 

It is perfectly safe to eat reheated food as long as the food safety practices are being followed. Proper hygiene, proper thawing, and serving at the right time are the most important factors. 

But be careful, you should not consume reheated food more than once. This means that once the food is thawed, or taken out of the refrigerator, you should reheat it properly in the oven. During thawing and preparation, the temperature of the food varies greatly, that is why thawing in the refrigerator at a steady temperature is the best way to do it. 

However, thawing with the help of an oven is the main culprit when it comes to food poisoning and other related diseases. Proper thawing does not mean that the bacteria has been eliminated or removed. It simply means that the flavour and texture of the food product is close to when it was freshly opened. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide we will address the question, “What is the core cooking and reheating temperature for food?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how should you check the cooking and reheating temperature, and is it safe to eat reheated food? 

References

https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_haccp/programme_haccp_tips05.html

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-reheat-leftovers#chicken-and-red-meat

https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/foodsafety/cook/cooktemp.html

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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