Frozen foods and recommended packaging temperatures
Keywords:Temperature, microwave, Regulations, Food Code, meat product, guidelines
Background: Frozen foods have cooking instructions on their packaging, but due to foodborne illnesses resulting from consuming them, it brings the effectiveness of these instructions into question. The recommended cooking temperature on the packaging is a specific numerical value that is not open to interpretation and can be used to measure effectiveness. Methods: Temperatures were taken from 208 different meat products from different stores. The information recorded include: the store the products were found at, the type of meat, whether the product was uncooked or cooked, and if it had safe handling instructions. The data was compared to 3 different guidelines to see if they met the recommendations or not. The results of the comparison were then analyzed using Chi-squared tests. Results: A majority of T&T products failed in all 3 standards, the majority of products from Superstore passed using all 3 standards, and the majority of products from Costco failed using 2 standards. Conclusion: The amount of products that met recommendations is dependent on the store, the type of meat, the uncooked or cooked status, and the guidelines being used due to the recommended temperature of poultry being vastly different in one of the guidelines. The other products that did not meet recommendations were due to them being cooked products without a recommended reheating.
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