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Cooking food safely

Food handling


There is a good chance that food will be contaminated while it’s being cooked if correct food handling principles are not followed.

You must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using cooking equipment. If you cannot find the instructions, ask your supervisor or manager for the equipment instructions.

Cooking temperatures

  • Cooking food to temperatures above 75 °C kills most bacteria.
  • Use a washed and sanitised thermometer to check that the thickest part, or the centre of the cooked food, has reached 75 °C.
  • Always serve or keep cooked food at 60 °C or hotter.
  • Whole pieces of red meat and fish can be cooked to preference, for example, steaks can be cooked medium rare. They do not need to be cooked to 75 °C because bacteria will only be on the surface of the whole piece. Cooking will destroy the bacteria and minimise the risk of contamination.

Always check

  • soups, sauces, gravies and casseroles boil to help prevent bacteria surviving the cooking process
  • that cooked food is held or served at 60 °C or hotter
  • that only clear juices run from thoroughly cooked minced meats, poultry, chicken or rolled roasts.

Answer this practice question...

Where should you test the temperature of cooked food?

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Correct! Why is this?

You have the right to reject the delivery if you find the food unsafe

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