Who Needs a Meat Thermometer? You Do, Survey Finds
Quick: when’s the last time you used a meat thermometer? C’mon, fess up. If you’re scratching your head, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A new survey by ConAgra Foods and the American Dietetic Association finds only 20 percent of Americans use a thermometer to check their food, NPR reports.
And that 20 percent? Well, not to sugar coat it or anything, but some of them are liars, plain and simple. As for the rest, most don’t even use the thermometer correctly, experts say. Which increases the risk that along with the Thanksgiving turkey this year, they’ll be serving up a secret little side of, say, salmonella.
“There’s an art to taking the temperature of food,” Daniel Engeljohn, an assistant administrator at USDA, tells NPR. “There needs to be some comfort and confidence in using a food thermometer.”
OK, OK, so what’s a well-meaning cook (who’d rather not poison her holiday guests) to do? You should take lots of readings at different parts of the bird and trade in your bimetal dial thermometer for an electronic version that registers more accurate temps.
Ben Chapman, a food safety expert who teaches at an North Carolina State, is hot for the Comark PDT 300 digital thermometer that retails for $29.50 on Amazon.
“Not to go all thermometer nerd on you, but I love it,” he tells NPR.
We’ll take a little bit of nerdy over a helping of e. coli any day.