Take the temperature of a product in several places, particularly irregularly shaped items.
Stir product before taking temperature.
Place stem or probe in the thickest part of the food item.
Do not rest the stem or probe on a bone - this may give an inaccurate reading.
Make sure entire sensing area is completely submerged in the food.
Prior to starting this activity, set out different types of foods to have employees demonstrate how they would take the temperature of each (pretending or simply discussing can be just as useful).
Ask employees how they would take the temperature of such food items as roast chicken, pork chops, bone-in ham, hamburgers, soup in a large stock pot on the burner, a 10 lb. roast in a large pan, or a thin sauce in a crepe pan.
For added benefit, ask the employees what the final minimum internal temperature should be for each food item.
To finish the session, have the employees play the "Cook It Safely" Crossword Puzzle.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Thermometer
Not Calibrating thermometer.
Not immersing entire sensing area into product.
Taking temperature in incorrect location in the food product.
Failing to stir product prior to taking temperature.
Not using the appropriate thermometer for the type of food.
Touching the surface of the cooking vessel or equipment.
Equating air temperature with product temperature.
Equating equipment thermostat temperature with product temperature.
Failing to allow thermometer to level off.
Failing to wash and sanitize thermometer prior to use.