Does Microwaving Kill Salmonella?

Salmonella is a special kind of bacteria that causes extremely problematic cases of food poisoning. Everyone needs to be aware of the factors of salmonella since it causes major health risks.

You must understand how salmonella is born, how to destroy salmonella, and how to ensure that food is free of any pathogens. There are a few additional methods for destroying salmonella. The greatest method for eliminating salmonella among them is by using a microwave.

We will learn about Does Microwave Kill Salmonella in this article. Furthermore, how microwaves kill them. So, without further hesitation, let’s get started.

does microwaving kill salmonella

Can Microwave Kill Salmonella?

Fundamentally, microwaves are high-frequency electromagnetic radiations. Between 300 MHz and 300 GHz is the range. Besides this, its wavelength ranges from 1 mm to 30 cm. Actually, salmonella cannot be killed by these waves.

Basically, microwaves vibrate the water molecule inside the food, which also generate a lot of heat. Salmonella can be killed by this heat. The faster the salmonellae die, the greater the temperature.

Yet you need to deliver heat correctly and consistently in order to kill these salmonellae.

The food needs to be heated for at least 60 seconds at a temperature of roughly 160° F (71° C). Because the majority of salmonella will rapidly die at this temperature.

Facts about Salmonella

Salmonella is a rod-shaped gram-negative bacteria. It is a special kind of bacterium with the ability to enter our intestinal cells and confuse our immune system. Food poisoning is the primary sign of this bacterial infection.

Most salmonella bacteria can survive for up to 4 hours on dry surfaces. However, depending on the species, their lifespan may change. On a surface that has been severely contaminated, some salmonella can persist for 4 days.

Salmonella bacteria can reside in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans, as well as other animals, including birds. Humans typically contract an infection by consuming food that has been infected with animal waste. How serious is this salmonella infection? I’ll demonstrate some statistics now.

420 Americans each year pass away from salmonella-related causes in the United States. And this germ infects 1.35 million people. These infections result in hospitalizations for over 26,600 patients.

Possible Signs and Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

Eating raw or poorly cooked meat, eggs, poultry, etc. can cause salmonella illness. Salmonella infection can also be caused by consuming raw milk.

Infection with Salmonella is the cause of serious illness. The signs of this condition are numerous. These symptoms appear one by one between six hours and six days.

To take the appropriate action to recover from this sickness, we must now be aware of the symptoms and warning signals.

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blood in stool
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth and throat, etc.

These all symptoms will arise within 6 hours to 6 days.

Typhoid fever may also be brought on by the Salmonella bacterium. Thus, I would advise you to follow the appropriate advice from qualified specialists for better treatment if you have diarrhea for longer than three days and a temperature of more than 102°C.

How Long Does It Take to Kill Salmonella in a Microwave? 

As we know, we can kill salmonella in a microwave by heating them at more than 160° F (71° C). It is a very important factor that microwaves produce heat and heat kills salmonella.

But if the food is not cooked properly at the exact temperature in the microwave, then the bacteria like salmonella will not die. Even low temperature will activate them and helps in their breeding.

Even if you do not cook them for a certain period of time though you give the proper temperature, the bacteria won’t die.

Because within a short time, the heat will not spread all over the food. Then, you will get a few portions of warm food and a few portions of cold food.

In the warm region, you can expect salmonella has died, if you give the proper temperature when you are cooking. But in the cold region, salmonella will remain alive and stay unharmed.

So, this is a concern. You have to maintain the exact temperature for a specific period of time. At the same time, you need to stir and rotate the food while cooking to spread the heat all over the food.

So, what is the temperature? And how long do you need to provide heat? Well, as we discussed before you need at least 160° F (71° C) to kill salmonella. And you need to wait for 60 seconds to 5 minutes after giving the temperature. The time will vary according to the food.

How Do You Kill Salmonella Using a Microwave?

Salmonella is not a joke. It is a serious bacteria that can cause serious health hazards such as vomiting, fever, cramps, etc. This bacteria is carried by eggs, milk, and uncooked or cooked meats.

As it is a serious issue, everyone has to know the proper way to eliminate these salmonella bacteria from foods.

Steps to kill the Salmonella bacteria-

Step 1: Clean all the necessary items used in the cooking process, including bowls, cutting boards, knives, kitchen utensils, countertops, etc.

Before utilizing such components in cooking, wipe them down with a fresh paper towel. Because if the surface is not properly washed, the germs may remain alive on it.

Step 2: Then spray an antibacterial cleaner inside the microwave and wait for at least 1 minute to make sure the microwave is also clean and bacteria-free.

Step 3: Take a dish cleaning cloth and make it wet with hot water. Then wipe out the inside of the microwave and eliminate the previously sprayed antibacterial cleaner.

Step 4: So, all your necessary equipment for cooking is completely clean and ready. Now, you have to prepare your dish with the recipe that you want to cook in the microwave.

After preparing the food, take your food out of the microwave. And take a food thermometer to check the temperature of the food. Place it at the center of the food.

If the temperature of the food is more than 160° F (71° C), then it is simple to verify that the food is free from any type of bacteria including salmonella.

Hopefully, you will get the perfect result if you follow the steps to kill salmonella.

Does Reheating Kill Food Salmonella?

Salmonella in food is actually killed by reheating. Essentially, the best ways to get rid of harmful bacteria like salmonella are through cooking and reheating. How is salmonella destroyed in food during cooking? Indeed, we did discuss that earlier.

You must now be aware of how to kill salmonella while reheating. Salmonella can be killed by reheating, but if the procedure is not performed precisely, salmonella won’t be killed.

During the reheating procedure, you must maintain a high temperature for a specific amount of time. Nevertheless, heat is dispersed unevenly throughout the food in a microwave.

If the heat is distributed unevenly, some regions will remain chilly and some sections will warm up. In a cold environment, Salmonella will be insulated from the heat.

So, during reheating, you must take precautions. To prevent these problems, the dish needs to be stirred often.

Prevention of Salmonella Infection

Salmonella infection can be a serious issue for certain ages of people. It may be dangerous for diabetes patients, liver, kidney, and even cancer patients. So, this is our responsibility to our friends and family, and society, to prevent salmonella infection. To prevent this infection, you need to follow some precautions. These are:

Wash Your Hand

Wash Your Hand

Wash your hand before taking food, after using the washroom, changing diapers, after coming out from outside, and after handling any material with your hands. Frequent use of hand sanitizer, or frequently washing hands can minimize the probability of salmonella infection. Even you need to wash your hand after getting in touch with the pets or animals.

Make Sure Your Food Preparation Areas are Cleaned

This is another concerning issue. Basically, a dirty and wet environment is suitable for breeding salmonella. So, if your kitchen or food preparation areas remain dirty, there is no way to prevent this infection. You must make sure that the areas, where foods are prepared, are cleaned regularly.

Eat Fresh and Clean Fruits and Vegetables

Every time you consume raw fruits and veggies, you should wash them first. Moreover, make sure the fruits and vegetables served raw are in season. Make sure that the raw meat and fish items are kept separate from cooked food and raw fruit and vegetable items.

Moreover, make sure to thoroughly clean all of your tools after preparing raw meat and fish with them.

Avoid having Raw Foods

You have to avoid taking raw food like raw milk, raw egg, or raw date juice. Because raw milk, raw egg, or date juice can carry harmful diseases.

Cook and Store the Food at the Proper Temperature for a Specific Period of Time

We have already discussed it earlier. If you truly want to prevent salmonella infection, you have to make sure that the cooking temperature is above 160° F (71° C). For example, cooking at a high temperature for 110 to 150 seconds will make sure the poultries and chickens are free from salmonella bacteria.

Store your raw meat and fish, raw food, or cooked food is also an important factor. Because if you don’t store your food properly, your food gets rotten and produces bacteria. You should store your food at approximately 40°F to 0°F.

Wash Your Hand after Handling Animals and Pets

This is a crucial precaution that needs to be well maintained. You must thoroughly wash your hands with soap after touching any animal. because animals, such as cats, dogs, etc., can spread dangerous illnesses like diarrhea. They also transmit bacteria that are harmful to health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can Bacteria Survive Microwave?

Actually, microwaves can’t kill bacteria. Heat can. Microwaves generate a lot of heat. And this high heat kills the bacteria. Approximately, 160° F (71° C) temperature is needed for a specific period of time to kill bacteria properly.

But you need to ensure that the heat is spread all over the food in the microwave. Otherwise, there will be some cold regions. In this cold region, bacteria will remain unharmed. 

Q: What Temperature does Salmonella Die?

Salmonella can survive a certain temperature of heat. It can survive up to 160° F (71° C). So, if you can heat more than 160° F (71° C), then, hopefully, all the bacteria will die.

One thing that you have to remember. Salmonella can survive in high heat for a specific period of time. So, you have to give a high temperature and continue it for a specific period of time.

Q: Is Salmonella Killed by High Heat?

Yes, salmonella is killed by high heat. Salmonella bacteria can survive up to 160° F (71° C). If you heat more than 160° F (71°), salmonella will be killed. But you have to continue this heat for a specific period of time and must ensure that the heat is spread all over the surface or foods. Otherwise, it won’t be killed.

Q: Can You Survive having Salmonella?

Salmonella poses major risks to both human and animal health. It may occasionally be a threat to kill. During six hours to six days, it begins to show signs and symptoms.

Hence, if you feel ill, I suggest you get appropriate medical counsel from a qualified doctor and take the prescribed medications. Considering that it is not a joke. 420 people died as a result of these salmonella illnesses only in the USA.

Wrap Up

So far, we’ve covered the salmonella bacteria, its impact on human health, how to get rid of it, what to do if you have salmonella infection, and how microwaves get rid of it.

Hopefully, this article may enhance your awareness of the salmonella bacterium and make you take it more seriously. And that’s it. If you require any further information, I would like to suggest you contact a registered doctor or medical consultant.

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Ezekiel Mutitu

Ezekiel Mutitu is a man of many talents. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, which has led him to do thousands of DIY projects. He loves learning about anything and everything - especially electronics and electrical items. Ezekiel knows that by being passionate about writing, he can help people from all walks of life understand complex topics and processes.

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