This week in safety: Heat, then eat

Consumer Reports News: May 15, 2009 07:43 PM

A story in today's New York Times underscores warnings that we've given before about the dangers of under cooking commercially prepared foods. In short, the newspaper reports that because food companies cannot guarantee the safety of every ingredient in such things as pot pies, some are placing the onus on the consumer to cook the food to a temperature high enough to kill any pathogens. This is called the "kill step."

"The problem is particularly acute with frozen foods, in which unwitting consumers who buy these products for their convenience mistakenly think that their cooking is a matter of taste and not safety," the Times wrote.

In June we wrote about the risks of under cooking prepackaged meals, chicken pot pies and pre-browned or breaded chicken products, some of which have been linked to Salmonella and Listeria. We'll reiterate the advice we gave then: Use a thermometer to make sure food is thoroughly cooked to an interior temperature of 165 degrees, no matter how it's prepared.

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