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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 5, 2014

Know Thy Microwave Wattage

JAMA. 2014;311(5):458. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.44

A 2010 Salmonella enterica outbreak serves as a cautionary tale for consumers to know that some frozen dinners must be fully cooked, not just reheated, in a microwave oven. And, to ensure proper cooking, consumers must know their microwave’s wattage.

The outbreak involved 44 people in 18 states and was traced to Marie Callender’s cheesy chicken and rice single-serve frozen entrées. Product packaging provided cooking instructions for microwave and conventional ovens, and safe handling labels stated the entrée must be “cooked thoroughly.”

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