• Hello from the Hygiene Doctor!

    A very warm welcome to the Hygiene Doctor web site!

    On this site my aim is to help de-mystify all there is to know about food safety and environmental health – whether you are a mum, dad, child, a food handler, business owner, TV or radio producer, newspaper or magazine journalist, this site is where you can find all you need to know about bacteria & viruses and how we can get the better of them!

    If you can’t find what you are looking for, then do ask me!

  • All I want for Christmas is….

    Dr Lisa’s Christmas List

    pink duck over 75 - a low cost thermometer helps you make sure you are not over- or under-cooking foodWhat do I give someone who has everything for Christmas?

    Well strangely I have found that my friends really appreciate a probe thermometer and no – that’s not taking my work too seriously! In fact, one friend asked for another one for her fund-raising barbeque.

    One interesting outcome of being an owner of a small cheap £15 thermometer is that food is not cooked too much. Before I decided to take my work home with me, the kids would wear out their jaws on over-cooked food – there was no way I was giving them E.coli! Burgers were incinerated, chicken was like cardboard! Now, cooking to 75°C in the core means that food is cooked just enough to kill the bacteria, but is so much more tasty!  

    I am sure that I am not the only one who has experienced dry and rather inedible turkey at Christmas. Unfortunately the colour of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. Only by using a probe thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 75°C throughout. Turkey can actually remain pink (and tender!) even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 75°C.

    My teenagers, coming from a digital age, think nothing of using the probe to check temperatures and make sure they are not going to poison themselves. They wouldn’t dream of guessing! In my experience, as teenagers, like water, only take the line of least resistance, this must be the best recommendation for probing food as opposed to guessing.

    Anyway that’s what my mates are getting for Christmas and so long as they open it first thing on 25th December, they can start with testing the turkey – my mission for safe cooking commences!

    Hygiene Audit Systems sell the Comark PDQ400 Waterproof Pocket Digital Thermometer in their Safety Shop. Click here to buy.