Food Safety While Hiking, Camping
USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health
agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring
that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products
is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
Food Safety Information
United States Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
USDA PhotoCooking Safely in the Microwave Oven
Microwave ovens can play an important role at mealtime, but special care must be taken when cooking or
reheating meat, poultry, fish, and eggs to make sure they are prepared safely. Microwave ovens can cook
unevenly and leave “cold spots,” where harmful bacteria can survive. For this reason, it is important to use the
following safe microwaving tips to prevent foodborne illness.
Microwave Oven Cooking
• Arrange food items evenly in a covered dish
and add some liquid if needed. Cover the dish
with a lid or plastic wrap; loosen or vent the
lid or wrap to let steam escape. The moist
heat that is created will help destroy harmful
bacteria and ensure uniform cooking. Cooking
bags also provide safe, even cooking.
• Do not cook large cuts of meat on high power
(100%). Large cuts of meat should be cooked
on medium power (50%) for longer periods.
This allows heat to reach the center without
overcooking outer areas.
• Stir or rotate food midway through the
microwaving time to eliminate cold spots
where harmful bacteria can survive, and for
more even cooking.
• When partially cooking food in the microwave
oven to finish cooking on the grill or in a
conventional oven, it is important to transfer
the microwaved food to the other heat source
immediately. Never partially cook food and
store it for later use.
• Use a food thermometer or the oven’s
temperature probe to verify the food has
reached a safe minimum internal temperature.
Cooking times may vary because ovens vary
in power and efficiency. Always allow standing