Disease Proof

Microwaves and Bacteria

Did you know microwaves aren’t really that good at killing harmful bacteria on food? I didn’t. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times looks at a new study examining the microwave-bacteria connection:
One study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in The American Journal of Epidemiology. It looked at a salmonella outbreak after a picnic where dozens of people ate reheated roast pork. Of 30 people studied, all 10 who used a microwave oven became sick, compared with none of the 20 who used a conventional oven or skillet.

Another study, in the journal Epidemiological Infections, looked at six people who contracted salmonella at a buffet after eating a dish consisting of chicken and vegetables. The scientists found that the food had been heated in a 500-watt microwave oven for five minutes before it was consumed — which apparently was not enough.
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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Heidi - May 22, 2007 8:49 PM

I really don't know what to think about microwave use, in general. My scientifically minded buddies say my concerns are silly, but I remain unsatisfied. Any comments? I feel the benignly-painted image of the microwave oven has been highly influened by financially profitable interests. Have you any comments regarding this?



Preview - May 23, 2007 4:58 PM

my mom is afraid to use the microwave because she says it's harmful to health. She might have been on to something.

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