We are especially concerned about food safety here at Peas of Mind because there are so many families, especially those with children, that are suffering from food related allergies. That's why we created our Peas of Mind FDA Food Recall widget that monitors all food recalls that occur and helps parents stay even more proactive in the concerns of potential health hazards. Download for free here: www.peasofmind.com/widget
A good friend of ours who owns Healthy Living in Burlington, VT passed this interesting article along to us. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/business/15ingredients.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1242918383-UCOWGykW9KUQ80zMUBUb4w
The article states that the consumer still has to be sure to closely follow cooking directions especially with frozen foods, because even though most frozen meals are already cooked, there is still a "kill step" that should occur once the meal is taken home. (The kill step is when you cook food to a certain degree to kill harmful food borne bacteria.)
Although it's debatable at times to know exactly where to place blame concerning food safety issues, it was very interesting to read this part of the article:
"General Mills, which recalled about five million frozen pizzas in 2007 after an E. coli outbreak, now advises consumers to avoid microwaves and cook only with conventional ovens. "
After some research, I was unable to find any information that would indicate that there would be any reason why cooking in the oven vs. the microwave would make food more safe to eat. In fact, there are sources saying that microwave cooking isn't as bad as we thought, it doesn't deplete vitamin levels as much as previously indicated for example.
So, why is General Mills asking you to bake your pizza in the oven vs. the microwave? Here's my theory... It's all consumer psychology, General Mills knows that the general consumer, once told that they have to put something into the oven is going to have their expectations set to be waiting longer for their meal. This means they'll take more time to be sure that the food is cooked all the way through. If a consumer is putting something into the microwave, they want it to be quick and may consider eating it before it's really fully cooked.
Another quote from the article:
"The problem is particularly acute with frozen foods, in which unwitting consumers who buy these products for their convenience mistakenly think that their cooking is a matter of taste and not safety."
If you have an opinion, let us know!!