eli5 why leaving meat in a hot room spoils it but microwaving the meat is okay.

48 views

eli5 why leaving meat in a hot room spoils it but microwaving the meat is okay.

In: 0

Time.

Bacteria take time to infect and spoil the meat. Heating is just changing the temperature. (Setting aside chemical changes caused by cooking)

It’s about how much heat you put into the food.

Warm temperatures below about 140 f only encourage bacteria growth. Above 140 it kills it.

It’s about controlled heat; cooking meat breaks down proteins and makes them easy to digest for humans. Leaving meat exposed to bacteria and fungi in the air over time will let them digest it, and end up with what the term “spoilage”

Microwaves will destroy microorganisms. Microwaves essentially work by vibrating water molecules so quickly that they generate heat, and this includes the water molecules inside the cellular bodies of these microorganisms.

The temperature in a hot room doesn’t kill the bacteria that live on the meat, but instead accelerates their growth. The longer it’s in the warmth, the more do the bacteria have time to multiply. At some point, there’s just too much and it spoils.

The microwave on the other hand cooks the meat and really quickly at that. The bacteria usually doesn’t survive the process because it’s heated up too much and even if it does survive, it’s not long enough for it to grow significantly.

Why you can’t just cook spoiled meat is: yes, the bacteria get killed. But they leave toxins behind. That happens on every piece of meat, pretty much regardless of how fresh it is. As I said, there’s always some bacteria. But in fresh or cooked meat, there’s just far far far less