sometimes E.Coli bacteria are resistant to cooking

Yasmina Kattou, edited by Solène Leroux
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07:23, April 13, 2022

While Buitoni pizzas are involved in an upsurge in contamination by Escherichia coli bacteria, could cooking be involved? In the majority of cases, the bacteria disappears during cooking, but other parameters come into play and sometimes the bacteria persists.

After the health scandal around contaminated industrial products, some criticize consumers for not having cooked their pizza well. The E.Coli bacteria is supposed to disappear at a certain temperature. In the majority of cases, the bacteria disappears during cooking, but other parameters come into play and sometimes the bacteria persists. In theory, after cooking in the oven at 180 degrees for 13 minutes – the cooking time of a frozen pizza – the Escherichia Coli bacteria should be destroyed. But it all depends on the amount of bacteria present in a product.

“The only possibility that there could be is that the bacterial load is so high that even if the cooking temperature has been respected, only part of the bacteria has been destroyed”, specifies Éric Oswald, head of the bacteriology-hygiene department at the Toulouse University Hospital. “It is estimated that in one gram of fecal matter, you can have one to 100 million Escherichia coli, and you only need 500 to cause illness in a young child.”

Ovens that do not heat up enough in question?

Another possibility mentioned by the bacteriology professor: non-professional ovens sometimes display the wrong temperature. “It is not because I put on my oven 180 degrees that I have an oven which is calibrated which will put 180”, tempers the specialist. “It’s 180, but plus or minus 10 or 20 degrees.”

After enjoying your pizza, if you have any left over, place it in the refrigerator as soon as your meal is over. At room temperature, bacteria thrive. To prevent their multiplication, cooked foods must be kept at less than ten degrees.

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