Even for experienced cooks, the improper heating and preparation of food means bacteria can survive.
Use a food thermometer — you can’t tell food is cooked safely by how it looks. Refer to the Safe Cooking Temperatures Chart for the proper internal temperatures.
Use a food thermometer that measures the internal temperature of cooked meat, poultry and egg dishes, to make sure that the food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145°F. All poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer.
Cook ground meat, where bacteria can spread during grinding, to at least 160°F. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links eating undercooked ground beef with a higher risk of illness. Remember, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burgers.
Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny. Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked.
Cook fish to 145°F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
Make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive) when cooking in a microwave oven. For best results, cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking.
Bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil when reheating. Heat other leftovers thoroughly to 165°F.