E. Coli Outbreak: Freezing Food Does Not Kill Bacteria

Apr 05, 2013 04:06 PM EDT | By Jason Pollak

  • print
E. coli
Freezing food does not kill germs such as E. coli and other dangerous pathogens. (Photo : Wiki Commons)

In wake of the recent E. coli scare found in frozen food products across the country, NPR reports that freezing food does not kill off germs such as E. coli and other dangerous pathogens.

Currently, there are 24 people in 15 states who've contracted E. coli after ingesting poisonous and contaminated frozen foods from Farm Rich Products.

Like Us on Facebook

While freezing food may slow down the spread of microbes, it is fairly useless in killing them off NPR reported.

"It actually does a pretty good job of preserving many of the pathogens and microbes that will cause problems later if thawed out," said Trevor Suslow, who studies food safety at Cornell University.

Although this specific strain of E. coli, shiga toxin-producing 0121, has never been seen in frozen foods before, other pathogens have, according to NPR and Professor Martin Wiedmann.

Wiedmann teaches in the Department of Food Science and is currently helping Farm Rich Products with the recent outbreak. He wasn't overly surprised that E. coli was found in frozen foods; the bacteria thrives in cooler temperatures. 

"We store a lot of microbes in the lab," Weidmann said. "The easiest way is at minus 80 degrees."

However, heating the bacteria up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the best way to kill it off. 

One way to avoid contamination Weidmann said, is to cook frozen foods in the oven, rather than the microwave. Although not definite, Wiedmann speculated that might have been what caused the recent outbreak.

"With a frozen ready-to-cook food, I would always go with the stove, not the microwave," he said.

© 2014 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
McDonalds

New McDonalds Slogan Lovin Beats Hatin, is The Slogan the Right Fit For McDonalds?

New McDonalds slogan lovin beats hatin stirs more comments and opinions than the fast food maker envisioned. Here’s why the new slogan ‘Lovin beats hatin’ could potentially cause more hate than love.

The second largest fastfood chain in the world will launch its first stores in India in the coming months.  Target locations will be New Delhi, Mumbai and NCR.

Burger King India Soon To Open In Coming Months

The second largest fastfood chain in the world will launch its first stores in India in the coming months. Target locations will be New Delhi, Mumbai and NCR.

Panera cuts 2014 profit forecast, shares slip

Panera Cuts 2014 Profit Forecast, Shares Slip

Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O) on Tuesday lowered its full-year earnings forecast as it works to speed up service at its popular bakery cafes.

Food Tech
5 Utah Family Members Found Dead And Poisoning Involving Pepsi Cups As Possible Cause

5 Utah Family Members Found Dead And Poisoning Involving Pepsi Cups As Possible Cause

Utah Family Found Dead – In Springfield, five family members, including two parents and three children ranging from the ages of 11 to 14, were found dead by an older son.

Swiss-based food giant Nestlé is hiring 1,000 humanoid robots as sales clerks at stores across Japan.

Nestle To Hire 1,000 Humanoid Robots In Japan For Selling Coffee And Home Espresso Machines

The first batch of robots which will be called as Pepper will be assigned on their stations at the end of the year to sell home espresso machines and coffee capsules.

"Mooncake Hot Pot" And "Mooncake Salad" Appear In Chongqing

Brain’s Calorie Counter: The Reason Behind Craving Junk Food

A new study has found that there is such a thing as the brain’s calorie counter, which explains why the brain has a tendency to choose junk food over healthier one, as it’s attempting to fill a quota. The discovery of the brain’s calorie counter explains the body’s need for fatty foods, beyond the fact that these types of meals are cheaper.

Real Time Analytics