Food safety goes beyond just washing your hands when you work in the kitchen. In fact, there is one piece of equipment that should be considered an absolute must in commercial kitchens as well as in Australian homes.
However, a recent study by the Food Safety Commission indicated that less than a quarter of Australian citizens owned one. This item is a "meat thermometer".
Most of the concerns about food poisoning come from meats that are undercooked. Meats carry bacteria in them. If they are not cooked to the proper temperature, then that bacteria will have a chance to grow and breed. The result can very quickly equal food poisoning.
Most consumers simply try to visually gauge food while they cook, but this can cause a few different problems. An attempt to leave certain meats rare can lead to undercooking. When the food doesn’t reach a high enough temperature, the bacteria are not killed. On the other side of the spectrum, some consumers may even overcook and burn foods in an attempt to avoid food poisoning, which will lead to meals that are nearly inedible.
With a meat thermometer, anyone can ensure the meats are reaching the proper internal temperature, which is 75 degrees Celsius. When the food does reach this temperature during cooking, bacteria is killed and food poisoning avoided. The whole piece of meat must reach this temperature, not just the outside, and a meat thermometer is the only way to check internal temperatures.
Meat safety is important for any Australian consumer, but it is all the more important for "at risk" citizens, including:
- Pregnant women
- People with immune compromising diseases
A meat thermometer is not even that expensive. In fact, one can be purchased for less than $40, making it affordable for almost any family. Restaurants are already required to make use of meat thermometers, and must have the devices calibrated regularly to pass HACCP guidelines. Unfortunately, not many households are taking the same precautions. A meat thermometer can be purchased at almost any supermarket, home goods store, or restaurant supply retailers. By purchasing this one piece of equipment, you can ensure that the meats you serve are properly cooked and safe for consumption.