When to Say When: Is it Safe to Eat?
When you're ready to heat up these dishes, what are the best ways to avoid getting sick? Temperature, once again, is key. The number to remember when heating leftovers and meats is 165. This is the temperature at which the most lethal bacteria, including salmonella, are killed.
When reheating foods in the microwave, stir frequently during cooking and allow hot foods to sit for two minutes after their cooking time in order for the heat to distribute evenly. Use a thermometer to ensure that food has reached 165 degrees all over, not just in the middle or on the edges.
So what are the food poisoning culprits, and where else might you find them? First, a few stats. The most common pathogens that could make you sick include the norovirus, which causes nausea and diarrhea. Foods commonly involved in a norovirus outbreak include leafy greens, fresh fruits and shellfish. But the norovirus commonly passes from person to person when the infected prepare food or drinks or when people touch surfaces contaminated with the virus. A norovirus infection may make sufferers feel terrible, but the good news is that it usually isn't lethal unless dehydration occurs.