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Expert
Question:

Are crock-pots a safe way to prepare food? I recently read that they may promote food poisoning. Are there safety measures that should be taken? .. — Gillian, RI

Bonnie Moore

Answer:

Crock-pots are a very convenient way to prepare soups, stews and all kinds of one-pot meals. There are a few food safety tips you should keep in mind.

  • While crock-pots can get hot enough to keep foods out of the so-called danger zone where harmful bacteria can grow (40 - 140F), they don''t heat up quickly enough. So bring your food to a boil on the stove first, then transfer it to the crock-pot to continue cooking.
  • Never use a crock-pot for reheating.
  • Keep the lid on. The temperature can drop very quickly and could fall into the danger zone. (For more tips, see All About...Food Safety.)
  • Use an instant read thermometer to make sure your meal reaches an internal temperature of 160F before serving.
About Bonnie Moore

Bonnie Moore, FoodFit's Executive Chef, graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in Math and Statistics before forsaking her calculator for a whisk. Bonnie earned an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University and a degree in pastry arts from L'Academie de Cuisine. She was the sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington, the only five-star, five-diamond kitchen in the United States, and a former chef-instructor in the professional program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. Bonnie likes to be involved with food at every stage, from planting seeds at the farm to creating a meal for her family. She believes that there is no better place to foster community and nourish those you love than around a table piled with delicious food.


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