The government has issued a new warning urging consumers to thoroughly cook frozen chicken dinners after people in 12 states were sickened with salmonella poisoning. "Given how people use microwaves, it's great for reheating, but maybe not so good for cooking," said Doug Powell, scientific director of the International Food Safety Network based at Kansas State University. Microwaves heat unevenly, and can leave cold spots in the food that harbor dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella or listeria. Microwaving anything that includes raw meat, whether it's frozen or thawed, can cause problems. The government doesn't track microwave-related illnesses, but every year more than 325,000 people are hospitalized for food-related illnesses.
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