Hygiene Food Safety
Newsletter February 2020

We are into the 2nd month of 2020! With that, we review some common misunderstandings regarding food safety and tell you about the recent coronavirus outbreak this year. 

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 waveguide.
  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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The Coronavirus Outbreak. What You Should Know

A new virus has emerged from Wuhan City in China. In late December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, China. The Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus, known as coronavirus. The coronavirus outbreak is thought to have originated in a Wuhan food market and continues to spread as China steps up containment efforts.WHO.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people.  There are several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. These have not yet caused a coronavirus outbreak. Contamination of raws in such an outbreak has piqued our interest in the outbreak, which is why we are sharing the news.


What is a coronavirus? Where do they come from? How can I protect myself? Watch this Q&A from the World Health Organization for the answers.
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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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Food Safety for the Kitchen eBook.

We have our food safety for the kitchen eBook, available for download from our website. 
Food Safety for the Kitchen eBook
Food Safety for the Kitchen eBook

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