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Solo Health

Microwave management

Once upon a time a microwave was the coolest thing you could put in an Irish kitchen, but of course that was before the boom years when we all retreated up our ar*es and tried to pretend to be foodies. Now, however, the bad times are back and you might just need to get the old reliable out of storage and start using it again. Yes, we know, this is so 1980s, but they’re great for heating up beans you know. And beans are cheap.
Be warned though. When not used properly, they’re not the safest of gadgets. So much so that the US government has issued a new warning urging consumers to thoroughly cook frozen chicken dinners after 32 people in 12 states were sickened with salmonella poisoning.
“Given how people use microwaves, it’s great for reheating, but maybe not so good for cooking,” said Doug Powell, scientific director of the International Food Safety Network based at Kansas State University.
The problem is that microwaves heat unevenly, and can leave cold spots in the food that harbour dangerous bacteria. So microwaving anything that includes raw meat, whether it’s frozen or thawed, can cause problems. A lot of people wrongly assume all frozen meals are pre-cooked and only need to be warmed, but this is not the case. And it’s thought that some meals designed to be microwaved can be unsafe if they are not heated thoroughly enough, or are cooked using directions meant for a microwave with different voltage. Meanwhile, microwaves lose power over time so if you’re reduced to using one again after some time ignoring it, be careful about what you’re putting in it. In face, experts say the bottom line is that cooking raw food is still a job best left to traditional grills and ovens.


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