Tips on Food Safety & Microwave Cooking

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Microwave Cooking and Temperature

Microwave cooking reduces your meal preparation time by about two-thirds compared to a conventional oven. Some microwave ovens use energy-saving methods to maximize cooking performance.

You should read the microwave’s instructions/owner’s manual upon purchase and save this information for future use. It will give specific information for cooking everyday food items such as poultry, popcorn, and meats. Plus, you can obtain tips about reading food package instructions and adjusting your cooking times.

After preparing your meal, you should verify safe food temperatures by using a temperature probe or meat thermometer. For instance, red meat should cook to an internal temperature of 160 F and the red meat should not be pink inside.

Covering Your Microwave Food

Food safety and microwave cooking involves using the best containers and wraps for your food. You want to use cookware that is geared towards microwave ovens. Cookware such as plastics, glass, and ceramic containers may or may not be labeled for microwave use so it is important to understand which cookware is microwave-friendly.

However, there are containers and wraps that should never be used for microwave cooking. One-time items such as butter tubs are structured for refrigeration so one should not try to save time or money and place food in the butter tub then the microwave. Also, newspapers and aluminum foil should not be placed in a microwave.

Remember to use microwave safe cookware/containers for any liquids such as tomato sauce to keep your food from splashing and create more clean up for yourself.

Microwave Cooking and Food Size

Microwave cooking can create harmful bacteria since your food may cook unevenly with cold spots (uncooked) sections. You can arrange your food in a microwave-safe dish/container and prepare your food based on the size of your food. For example, large cuts of red meat should not be cooked on high/full power to prevent uneven cooking.

You can prepare your red meat using medium power (50%) and adjust the cooking time to allow the microwave heat to reach your meat’s center. Also, you can rotate your food while cooking to reduce the possibility of bacteria-induced cold spots.

Food safety and microwave cooking can be achieved and save you time when a microwave oven is used effectively.