Article Layout: Cook


You can’t rely on color and texture alone to tell if your food is done and safe to eat. Find out how to tell if your food is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat.

Cook: The Basics

Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. Bacteria multiples quickest when in the “danger zone,” between 40°F to 140°F, so keep food out of this range.

food thermometer is the only way to ensure food is cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. To find which temperature to cook meats and other foods, consult this chart or the Is My Food Safe? app.

Keep food hot after cooking, so it doesn’t fall below 140°F. Use a heat source like a chafing dish, warming tray or slow cooker to keep food from cooling.

Microwave food thoroughly until it reaches 165°F.
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