SafeFood© Calibration

Yes, it was Super Bowl weekend but I opted out of football watching and took a stab at de-cluttering as many of the January editions of magazines had advised. I attacked kitchen drawers and cupboards (and was amazed at the reproduction capabilities of plastic food storage containers!). Scattered in several of the kitchen drawers were food thermometers. Every kitchen needs these – but I wondered if they were accurate (as likely had been jostled or dropped a time or two).

What to do? Calibrate! That sounds harder than it is.

  1. Simply fill a wide mouthed glass container with crushed ice and measure the temperature.
  2. The dial should read 32˚ F (several of the ones I had did not).
  3. If reading is out of whack, turn the screw under the dial until 32˚ F is shown.

Kitchen magic in action and potential FBIs averted because proper end point cooking temperatures are reached. Need a thermometer for your kitchen? The first 3 readers from the United States to email me with a comment on this blog (or others) will receive one free of charge.



Catherine Hemphill Strohbehn has been a faculty member at Iowa State University in the Hospitality Management Program for 30 years. She is a State Specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University. As part of her work, she conducts research, develops educational materials and provides programs to help retail foodservices use their resources effectively and ensure safe food is served. Cathy is a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Certified Professional in Food Safety from the National Environmental Health Association.

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