Hygiene Food Safety
Newsletter February 2019

We are into the 2nd month of 2019! With that, we review some common misunderstandings regarding food safety and tell you about the recent food safety outbreaks in 2019. 

Does The Microwave Kill Bacteria?

Does the microwave kill bacteria? What do we actually know about microwaves? How do they work? And are they the ultimate answer to food safety?

Microwave ovens are great time-savers and can help you in a bind. These days microwave ovens can cook, grill, defrost and reheat any foods. These features can really help when grills or convection ovens take time to reheat or cook foods. Microwaves can be very effective in the reheating process if used correctly.

Here’s the deal, microwaves don’t actually kill bacteria.

The microwaves instead, create heat that is able to kill bacteria in foods. But microwaved foods can be cooked unevenly because of irregular shapes or differences in thickness. Think about a solid frozen meal compared to reheating soup or other liquids. Liquids heat up much faster than solid foods.

Even turntable-equipped microwave ovens can cook unevenly and leave cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive.

How do microwaves cook food?

  1. Inside the microwave oven there is a magnetron that creates radio wave energy.
  2. These waves blast the foods in the compartment through what is called a wave guide.
  3. The microwaves bounce back and forth off the reflective metal interior, until they reach the food sitting on the inside of the food compartment. The food absorbs these waves generating heating.
  4. The heat, then cooks the food.

Does a microwave kill bacteria?

Microwaves can not penetrate more than 2 cm’s (1-inch) into food. So microwaving becomes dependant on the size, shape and nature (liquids/solids) of the food you are reheating.

By default does the microwave kill bacteria? 

No. Not in the way you would expect it to.

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Flu outbreak in UK takes hold

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. Compared with most other respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu often causes a more severe illness.

CASES of the flu have doubled to two million in a week in Britain, official figures released today have shown. Health bosses warn this winter’s influenza outbreak has begun, after weeks of little activity. The West Midlands, North East and North West England and Yorkshire and Humber are the […]

Health bosses warn this winter’s influenza outbreak has begun, after weeks of little activity.

Within the space of a week cases have increased by 85 per cent in England and by 55 per cent in Wales.

In the same data, cases of the flu have increased by 139 per cent and by 50 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Nearly two million are experiencing symptoms of the flu, according to estimates and experts warn it could put strain on the already-stretched NHS.

Health authorities across the UK are monitoring the rates of flu in their own country.


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The Typhoid Infections in 5 US children linked to Pakistan Outbreak  

Since 2016, five children in the United States have been diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant typhoid fever after travelling to or from Pakistan, where a large ongoing typhoid outbreak has sickened more than 5,300 people.
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Norovirus Outbreaks Linked to Oysters in US & UK

Authorities in the United Kingdom and Ireland are investigating a foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by norovirus in live oysters. The oysters are thought to have come from Ireland and been purified in the UK and it is believed they are no longer on the market.

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Need Food Safety Training? Check out our book on "Food Safety For The Kitchen" on This book covers the Bacteria Basics, The Food Safety Pillars and a bonus chapter on the Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa. Known as as the largest Outbreak in Recorded History. 
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