A big role that the temperature of food
plays is to ensure that certain food products are well cooked to kill
harmful organisms like bacteria. many foods, irregardless of whether
they are cooked or raw, become breeding grounds for other harmful
organisms if they are left un-refrigerated for too long or even if left
in refrigerated environment for too long.
It is quite straightforward and direct to
monitor the internal temperature of meats and other foods in the cooking
area to ensure that the proper minimum temperature has been attained
before they are considered safe for human consumption. Below is a list
of some cooking temperature rules for food per the US Dept of
Agriculture's (USDA) "ThermyTM"
Food Safety Campaign.
Food Safety Temperature Rules
Minimum Internal Temperature
in Degrees F, as measured by a reliable food thermometer