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Microwaves Technical & Safety Tips

  • Always use microwave safe dishes! Do not microwave your food using styrofoam or any freshness wrap products. There are harmful carcinogen’s released into the food when reheated in these types of containers. READ ALL LABELS. IF YOU ARE UNSURE, DON’T!  Most containers are labeled on the bottom, identifying them to be microwave safe or not.
  • Do not use aluminum foil or anything with metal on it (unless your microwave specifically allows it. Check your owners manual). Metal can cause and arc and damage the internal liner of the microwave and even the electrical circuitry.
  • Wipe the seal off with a wet rag and dry it thoroughly as often as needed.
  • Do not twist, bend, or slam the door in any way.   The door contains a bank of safety switches that prevent the microwave from working if the door does not close properly. These switches are in place because manufacturers do not want microwave energy to be released into the room.

Tech Tip

FLASHING NUMBERS! If your microwave begins flashing numbers, won’t take commands, or shows all 8’s, unplug the unit and leave it off for several (15-20) seconds and plug it back in. Sometime this simple trick can reset the microprocessor and the unit will begin to work again! If these suggested tips do not solve the problem, call us at (410) 682-3232 for fast, dependable service!

Electric Ranges

  • If your coil top burners are not heating make sure they are sitting straight and in their proper position. The receptacles they plug into can develop sensitivity to connectivity over time. Due to their design they are prone to needing to be replaced over the life of the range. Smooth top ranges do not have the same burner/receptacle set up and the burners last much longer.
  • If your oven is not heating, make sure the clock is set on the manual cycle and not the automatic time bake cycle.

Gas Ranges

  • On older models you can raise up the top and keep the area clean and free of grease build up. On newer, sealed burner units the top is not designed to be lifted up. DO NOT TRY! You can damage the burners, igniters, the top and other components.
  • If the top burners are not lighting, wipe off the burner head with a hot, damp rag and the dry completely.
  • If oven is not heating make sure the clock is set on the manual and not automatic cycle.
  • Gas ovens use some type of an igniter to light the burner. These igniters (the older styles use a glow type and the new models use a spark type) are the most likely thing to fail if your oven is not heating.
If these suggested tips do not solve the problem, call us at (410) 682-3232 for fast, dependable service! Top

Cooking Safety Tips

The way we cook our food is as important as the way we prepare and store it. Inadequate cooking is a common cause of food poisoning. Most foods, especially meat, poultry and eggs, should be cooked thoroughly to kill most food poisoning bacteria. In general, food should be cooked to a temperature of at least 165°F or hotter. When food is cooked, it should be eaten promptly, kept hotter than 140°F, or cooled, covered and stored in the fridge or freezer Some people are more at risk from food poisoning than others. Vulnerable groups include pregnant women, young children, the elderly and anyone with an illness. Special care should be taken when preparing, cooking, serving and storing food for these groups.

High-risk foods

Food poisoning bacteria grows more easily on some foods than others. These high-risk foods include:
  • Meat
  • Poultry such as chicken and turkey
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Small 0goods such as salami and ham
  • Seafood
  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked pasta
  • Prepared salads such as coleslaw, pasta salads and rice salads
  • Prepared fruit salads.

High risk foods and the temperature danger zone

Take care with high risk foods. You should:
  • Keep high risk cooked foods out of the ‘temperature danger zone’ of between 41°F and 140°F.
  • Throw out any high risk cooked food left in the temperature danger zone for more than four hours.
  • Don’t keep or store any high risk cooked food left in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours. Don’t leave it for later and don’t store it in the fridge.

Cook all food to a temperature of 165°F

How you cook food is very important. Different foods need a different approach:
  • Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F or hotter when you cook food. Heating foods to at least this temperature kills most food poisoning bacteria. If you have a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of meat during the cooking process.
  • Cook mince, sausages, whole chickens or stuffed meats right through to the center. You should not be able to see any pink meat and the juices should be clear.
  • Cook steak, chops and whole roasts to your preference as food poisoning bacteria are mostly on the surface.
  • Cook white fish until it flakes easily with a fork.
  • Cook foods made from eggs such as omelettes and baked egg custards thoroughly.
  • Take extra care when preparing foods that use raw egg, such as eggnog and homemade mayonnaise. Bacteria on the eggshells can contaminate food and cause food poisoning.
  • Avoid giving food made with raw eggs to pregnant women, young children, elderly people and anyone with an illness.

Microwave cooking

Microwaves are a quick and convenient way to cook food. However, if they are not used correctly, they can cook food unevenly. This may leave food partially cooked or not reaching a temperature of 167°F. When you cook food in the microwave:
  • Cut food into evenly sized pieces if possible, or put larger or thicker items towards the outside edge of the dish.
  • Cover the food with a microwave safe lid or microwave plastic wrap. This will trap the steam and promote more even cooking.
  • Rotate and stir food during cooking.
  • Wait until the standing time is over before you check that the cooking is complete. Food continues to cook even after the microwave is turned off.

Cooling and storing

If you need to store food for later use, wait until the steam stops rising, cover the food and put it in the fridge. This helps keep the food out of the temperature danger zone as fast as possible. Large portions of food cool faster when you put them into shallow trays or divide them into smaller pieces. If you need to keep food warm, keep it hotter than 140°F and out of the temperature danger zone. Under ideal conditions, cooked food can be stored in the fridge for a few days. If you want to keep cooked food longer, freeze the food immediately after cooling in the fridge. Always store cooked food separately from raw food, especially raw meats, poultry and fish. Keep raw meats and poultry at the bottom of the fridge to avoid raw juices dripping onto other food. Ensure that all food is covered or sealed. Reheat food until it is steaming hot – above 165°F or, preferably, boiling. Food should steam throughout, not just on the edges. Take care when reheating food in a microwave oven. Follow the same actions as when cooking with a microwave to ensure all the food is heated to steaming hot.

Things to remember

  • Cook food properly – to at least 165°F or hotter.
  • If you use a microwave, check that the food is cooked evenly throughout.
  • Cool and store cooked food as soon as possible.

More Safety Tips

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