Foods that are not properly cooked can be unsafe to eat.

Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for long enough, at a high enough temperature, to kill bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. When food is improperly heated or prepared, bacteria can survive and grow.

Always cook food to the proper temperature to kill bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses, and always cook raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood to a safe internal temperature.

Even the most experienced cook can’t tell by its appearance whether food is cooked safely, so it’s very important to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods.

When you cook food in a microwave oven, remember that bacteria can survive in under-cooked areas. Make sure there are no cold spots in microwaved food. Microwave ovens vary, so be sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

When you reheat leftover foods, remember: “If in doubt, throw it out!” Remember that you can’t tell whether a food is safe by its smell, look or taste.


Food Safety For Higher Risk Canadians is brought to you by the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) supported through an unrestricted educational grant from Maple Leaf Foods Inc.