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Unread 12-03-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
Jacked UP BBQ
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 06-09-08
Location: Forker River, NJ
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Bacteria Danger Zone
Once you have your thermometer, feel free to go a little crazy at first, temping everything. The Danger Zone is 45 to 140F. This is the number one way that food gets adulterated. You see, all meat, poultry, fish and dairy is contaminated to a certain extent. Germs need food, moisture and time to grow. There are already "killer" bacteria in many foods you eat every day, but they're in such tiny quantities that your body's natural digestion process can take care of them, so the food you eat isn't harmful. Have you ever traveled abroad, and were told "don't drink the water," but noticed that the locals drink it every day? They've built up natural defenses to the pathogens in the water supply, so they don't get affected the way you would. You've enjoyed relatively sanitary food your whole life, so you actually have less resistance than an average, healthy person from many "less developed" countries. So how does this matter to the temperature of food? Well, you need to understand that there are already bacteria in food, and freezing the food doesn't kill the bacteria. Keeping the food refrigerated doesn't kill the bacteria. All you are doing is slowing the germs' reproduction down. That's why chicken, meat, fish and dairy spoil quickly, even in the fridge. The germs are multiplying from the time the animal was killed. These items are kept refrigerated to keep them wholesome enough to eat within a reasonable amount of time. They still contain bacteria, though.
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