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Slow Cooker Test for Safety

April 4, 2018

A safe slow cooker, cooks slow enough for unattended cooking, yet fast enough to keep food out of the bacterial danger zone (above 40◦F to below 140◦F). In the danger zone, bacteria grows very rapidly. Food left in the danger zone too long can cause food borne illness. To determine if a slow cooker is safe to use:

  1.  Fill the slow cooker one-half to two-thirds full of tap water.
  2. Heat on a low setting for 8 hours with the lid on.
  3. Check the water temperature with an accurate food thermometer. Do this quickly because the temperature drops 10–15 degrees when the lid is raised or removed.
  4. The temperature of the water should be 185°F. Temperatures below 185°F would indicate the slow cooker does not heat food high enough or fast enough to avoid potential food safety problems; the slow cooker is unsafe and should be replaced.

 

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