Food Safety Issues/Food

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Question
Generally, mankind( I believe across all cultures) prefers to eat foods that are served hot or sometimes chilled. I have the impression that it should be more natural, beneficial and tastier to eat food as it is  i.e. at room temperature, as what other animals do. Our body mechanism also would work optimally, I presume at either room or body temperatures. What is your comment?

Answer
Hi Aiha,

The reason we eat foods either hot or cold is because of food safety as bacteria that can make us ill flourish at body temperature. Potentially hazardous foods -- foods capable of easily supporting the growth of bacteria, would quickly be overtaken by bacteria if they were left at room temperature for an extended period of time.  While freshly killed meat could possibly be consumed raw with no ill effects, if it were not immediately refrigerated and then cooked we would be subject to food borne illness, which would not be optimal for our bodies.

Many foods can be consumed at room temperature and are safe and tasty -- such as fruits and vegetables.  But for long term safety even these foods do better with refrigeration and/or cooking.

Man learned early in his history that cooking food made it not only safer but also tasty -- and the cooked food, if kept cold, stayed safe and edible for many days.  So for our optimal health, cooking and chilling foods has made us a more robust creature.

Carol  

Food Safety Issues

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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