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  TEMPERATURE HELP
Here's a guide to help you cook your dishes to perfection. It's important to make sure your food is the proper temperature inside and out. Use the following temperature guide to see if your food is throughly cooked.
SEAFOOD
Most seafood will be opaque when cooked throughly. Filets and whole fish will flake easily. Shrimp and lobster shells turn red when finished and scallops turn milky white and are very firm.

Source: International Food Safety Council

 
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Survey takes temperature of food-safety knowledge

DENVER (CNN) -- A survey reveals that most Americans still don't know many food-safety basics, such as the importance of using a meat thermometer to test doneness.

"Use of an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness of meat and poultry is one of the best lines of defense against foodborne bacteria," said J. O. Reagan, executive director of research for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Raising the awareness of proper cooking and handling of all foods is an important effort for consumer safety."

In a telephone survey of 1,002 adults, the association's market-research firm found:

  • Instant-read thermometer use is estimated at 2 percent.
  • Only 8 percent correctly identified 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) as being the temperature ground beef should reach to be safe.
  • Among those who do not use a thermometer, 64 percent said they determine doneness by checking to see whether a beef patty is gray or no longer pink inside and/or when the juices are no longer pink and run clear. However, 11 percent said they judge doneness by the color of the outside of the patty.

Instant-read thermometers cost $6 to $12 and usually are available near the meat case in local supermarkets. Instant-read thermometers should read the meat's temperature in about 15 seconds and are not designed to stay in the food during cooking.



RELATED STORIES:
Raw meat irradiation rules go into effect
February 22, 2000
New E. coli report questions safety of U.S. beef
November 11, 1999

RELATED SITES:
USDA Foodborne Illness Education Information Center
National Cattlemen's Beef Association

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