In the most recent data Annual Report from the CDC, published August 2017, the most common causes of food borne illness identified were related to improper cooking with:
- “poor temperature control”
- “insufficient time or temperature while cooking or heating”
- “improper holding temperatures”
- “eating contaminated raw, undercooked or under processed foods.
I conclude that to reduce the chances of getting your guests sick, be cautious about temperatures and use a food thermometer for cooking and holding. It really is quite simple.
I will admit that most of our marriage we have not used a food thermometer. We have judged whether food is properly cooked by looking at the outside but just like you can’t judge a book by the cover or a movie by a two-line critical review you can’t tell whether food is safely cooked by looking at the outside.
We are also likely to agree that overcooking kills texture and flavor, so there is a sweet spot. So, if your focus is a delicious entrée then our goals align.
My focus is reducing disease and there is absolutely no doubt that using a thermometer will reduce disease. I can’t think of a more compelling argument.