Processing food is not the same as baking it, says James J. Rabinowitz, the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety specialist, and he says you should be prepared to handle any possible contamination.
Rabe says pasteurizing food has been known to cause bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to enter the food.
If food does not come in a sealed container or package, a food-contact contact (FCP) can be made to handle the contaminated food.
You can also make a food contact with a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it from spoiling, he says.
The FDA does not have guidelines on how to handle food pasteurized food, but it has set up an online safety training resource for consumers and professionals.
Rabbitt says it is important to take precautions when handling food, particularly if you are allergic to food.
“Food contact should be kept out of direct sunlight, in a well-ventilated area, and close to other people and pets,” he says, noting that some food is especially sensitive to heat.
He says some foods are especially sensitive if they are left on a burner or in a hot container of water.
“A food that is heated to temperatures that can kill bacteria and/or spoil it is also a food that should be avoided,” he adds.
If you are handling food that has been pasteurized, you should use gloves and not wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a mask, gloves or goggles.
Rabitt says a PFAS can also cause health issues for the consumer.
“It can cause a lot of problems if someone is exposed to it and it is a lot less dangerous to use,” he explains.