| Does Freezing Kill Salmonella ?
Salmonella is a bacterium, which lives on our intestines and can cause food poisoning when we eat contaminated food. Salmonella or any other bacteria do not die when frozen. The bacteria may become less effective because some of their cells die. However, the main part of the bacteria continues to live even if it is frozen. For example, frozen meat products can contain the bacteria and once they are defrosted, the bacteria will continue to grow. The risk of salmonella infection does not decrease in such cases.
The temperature in most freezers is maintained at 40 degrees and sometimes it goes down to 0 degrees. Bacteria have the ability to multiply even in these temperatures. When the temperatures are freezing, the bacterial growth comes down to zero, but as the temperature keeps increasing, the bacteria also increase the speed of their growth. You have to be careful when you use frozen foods and this applies to ice creams also.
There are certain temperature danger zones when it comes to foods. Bacteria can grow in temperatures like 40 degrees to 140 degrees. This is technically referred to as the food temperature danger zone. However, this is also the same temperature zone in which humans can live. The human body’s natural temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria can wait a long time to get inside our body and cause infection. They also have a faster rate of multiplying within our body.
Perishable foods like cooked foods and milk should not be left in temperature danger zones for more than one hour. They should be immediately refrigerated. Cooked food have a lesser danger of getting contaminated but uncooked and raw foods should be disposed if they have been left out for more than one hour. Bacteria thrive when there is water. Meats, sea foods, and other dairy and poultry products have water and moisture in them. Even fruits and vegetables have plenty of water in them. Typically, wherever the moisture is high, salmonella can thrive. However, other food grains like wheat, rice and pulses tend to have low moisture and they are less prone to carry salmonella or any other bacteria.
Moisture also causes a process called osmosis. Sugars and salt typically suck out moisture from the bacteria and cause them to die through dehydration. That is why high amount of salt and sugar is used to preserve food. Salts and sugars are often used to clean meats which are called brining. This takes out the bacteria even if present in them.
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About.com: Food Temperature Management