Do Cookbooks Consider Food Safety?

There are so many types of cookbooks out on the market at the moment. From high-end desserts to cheap and healthy eats, there are recipes for every occasion. But do these books consider teaching people cooking at home the importance of food safety?

A new research has found that bestselling cookbooks provide readers with little advice about how to reduce food-safety risks. Professionals agreed that although cookbooks are not widely viewed as the primary source of food safety information. However, the intention of these books are instructional. It will only seem natural to also teach the readers more on food safety.

The Cookbook Study

Researchers based at North Carolina State University conducted a study based on 1497 recipes in 29 cookbooks that are on New York Times Bestselling list. For the study, they considered:

  • does the recipe had raw animal ingredients?

  • does the recipe tell the readers to cook the dish to specific internal temperature?

  • if the following is applied, is the temperature specified ‘safe’?

  • does the recipe perpetuate food-safety myths – such as advising to cook poultry until the juices ‘run clear’?

Out of the recipes analysed, only 123 recipes – that is only 8% – specified a cooking temperature but not all of them listed an appropriate temperature. They also found that 99.7% of the recipes chosen provided ‘subjective indicators’ to determine whether a dish is done cooking. In reality, none of the indicators given were reliable enough.

We thought unsafe food safety practices was joke (check out our satirical cookbook here), but it seems we were mistaken!

Do you know the real safe markers for cooked food? Do you need to be more wary about the instructions given in recipes in cookbooks?

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