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Name: alli
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Question:
What kills more bacteria for the recommended cooking time in a microwave and a conventional oven?



Replies:
I hope I understand your question. The time it takes to get your food done is sufficient to kill all bacteria--but not the spores of certain bacteria--both by microwave cooking and in a conventional oven. The spores are not a problem when the food is consumed directly but can be a health hazard when food is bottled and stored. See recommendations at http://www.cfia-acia.agr.ca/english/corpaffr/foodfacts/perfrine.shtml on Clostridium, one of the most dangerous causes of food poinsoning. Or visit the display on Food Safety in the Virtual Museum of Bacteria (www.bacteriamuseum.org) at www.bacteriamuseum.org/niches/foodsafety/foodsafety.shtml

For both ways of food preparation a word of warning: if food is NOT thoroughly heated and done (e.g. inside a piece of meat, or a meal containing battered eggs) there can still be living bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, E.coli) left that can cause food poisoning--by both methods. Also, toxins produced by bacteria on spoiled food are NOT inactivated by microwave cooking--so food that has gone off DOES NOT become safe (or tasty!) in a microwave. Kitchen hygiene measurements are applicable to both ways of cooking--the one method is not safer than the other.

Dr. Wassenaar



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