One of the great advantages of cooking food is that through this process it is possible to eliminate all the harmful microorganisms that could cause us illnesses if we eat raw food. However, this does not happen at any temperature, nor in the same way in all foods.
At what temperature should I cook each food?
If we want to play it safe, a good temperature to cook any food is 100 degrees. With this, we will be sure of having eliminated any type of germ that may be found in it.
In fact, in tropical countries, where the hot and humid climate favors the rapid growth of microorganisms and where hygiene conditions in the food production chain are not optimal, it is common for food to be cooked at very high temperatures. and for a long time to make its consumption safer.
However, we may prefer certain foods somewhat less cooked. In this case, we must attend to somewhat more specific temperatures for each type of food.
For example, and following the official recommendations of the United States government, minced meat and / or with mixtures of beef, pork, veal or lamb can be safely consumed after cooking it to a minimum of 71 degrees. That point is considerably lower for fresh meat from these same animals (62.8 degrees) and somewhat higher for poultry , minced or not, and precooked pork ham (73.8 degrees).
In the case of the egg, we must cook it until the yolk and white set, which occurs more or less after 71º.
Finned fish, and shellfish in its various forms, need to be cooked to about 62.8 degrees. There are several ways to know when they have reached this temperature: in fish, the meat becomes opaque and is easily separated with a fork; in crustaceans, the meat becomes pearly and the shell takes on a deep red color, and the bivalves split open.
Finally, it is preferable to heat the leftovers to at least about 73.8 degrees.
The risk of not heating food properly
By following these recommendations, we can avoid serious infectious diseases such as shigellosis, salmonellosis, anisakis parasitosis, taeniasis, toxoplasmosis, and E. coli infection.
The symptoms that we can experience, if unfortunately we suffer from food poisoning, will depend on the pathogen . Some common ones, however, include stomach pain, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration.
In addition, it must be taken into account that some diseases that are contracted in this way can have serious long-term effects . For example, some complications that can arise from some of these infections include kidney failure, chronic arthritis, nerve damage, or death.
These risks are not the same for everyone, and there are more vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and immunosuppressed people.
For all this, it is worth taking the time and precaution to ensure that the food we are going to enjoy is properly cooked , so that we do not suffer problems later.