Can Microwaves Prevent Food Poisoning?

I made some vegetable/beef soup this morning and for some reason, I had to go out somewhere and left it sitting, cooling down, for about three hours. Immediately after returning home, I began to get a nasty crawling feeling of fear in my stomach, wondering if I ate the soup, would I get food poisoning?

Then I had another thought … “If I put the barely-warm soup in the microwave oven and heat it to boiling again, it will be safe for me to eat.”

My question now, (Now that I have eaten it without microwaving it) is “Am I going to wake up in the morning with food poisoning?”

I got to reading about it and here is what I found … “on average, food poisoning symptoms begin within two to six hours after consuming contaminated food.”

So far, it appears that I am safe unless I am one of the unfortunate few whose symptoms are reported to be delayed for a few days!

So if I had put the soup into the microwave, would it have helped to protect me from food poisoning?

Here is what some folks have to say about it — “

Microwaves have become an essential part of our daily lives. We use them to heat up food, defrost frozen items, and even cook meals. But do microwaves kill harmful bacteria in food? This is a question that many people have been asking for years.

The answer is yes, microwaves can kill harmful bacteria in food. The high temperatures generated by microwaves can destroy the cell walls of bacteria, thus killing them off. However, it is important to note that not all bacteria are killed by microwaves and some may survive if the food isn’t heated properly or for long enough. Therefore, it is important to follow instructions when using a microwave and make sure that the food reaches a safe temperature before consuming it.

The fact that what I just wrote is conditional does not comfort me in the least.

A lot of whether I am safe or not depends on another couple of factors … (1) Was the food originally cooked long enough to kill the harmful bacteria? The generally-accepted temperature for safe cooking is somewhere around 165 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what it is that is being cooked and (2) was the food left out on the warming table for more than 2 hours after being cooked before being eaten?

The United States Department of Agriculture says this — “

If a perishable food (such as meat or poultry) has been left out at room temperature overnight (more than two hours) it may not be safe. Discard it, even though it may look and smell good. Never taste food to see if it is spoiled. Use a food thermometer to verify temperatures. Never leave food in the Danger Zone for over two hours; one hour if the outside temperature is above 90 °F.

The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F in which bacteria can grow rapidly. To keep food out of the Danger Zone, keep cold food cold, at or below 40 °F, and hot food hot, at or above 140 °F.

The following quotation takes up the idea of super-heating food that has been left out too long (as it would be in a Microwave situation)”

When we’re discussing the causes of most food spoilage, we’re usually referencing the microbial spoilage caused by microorganisms and bacteria. Storing food at the proper temperature — typically through refrigeration — substantially slows the rate of bacterial growth within it. 

Any perishable foods will eventually go bad; there are no two ways about it. But if you cook your food early enough, heating it will be sufficient to kill the bacteria within it. However, the bacteria will eventually produce toxins that are heat-resistant, and that can’t be killed no matter how high you crank your oven. Simply put, if your food is in a borderline state of edibility, there’s at least a marginal chance you won’t be able to scorch all of the deleterious chemicals out of it without converting it into a pile of ash.

So, to make a long story short, I don’t have a clue as to where I stand at this moment but I guess I will find out after enough time has passed.

What is YOUR opinion or your experience?

Please leave me a comment if you wish to share.


2 thoughts on “Can Microwaves Prevent Food Poisoning?

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