Over the past 15 years, multiple foodborne outbreaks have occurred in Canada due to the presence of Salmonella enterica in frozen breaded chicken products. These chicken products were raw and required cooking in conventional household ovens to inactivate any pathogens that they may have been harboring. During the course of food safety investigations associated with these outbreaks, many consumers reported using alternative household appliances such as air fryers to cook these products. The effectiveness of these appliances for the inactivation of pathogens in food is not known. Here, we compare the ability of a toaster oven, air fryer, deep fryer, and conventional oven to inactivate a cocktail of Salmonella Enteritidis in frozen breaded chicken strips. Deep frying was the most effective cooking method, demonstrating a median 7-log reduction; the conventional oven was next with a median 6-log reduction. Both the air fryer and toaster oven performed poorly, with respective median 4- and 3-log reductions. Overall, the results of this study suggest the revision of cooking instructions is required for the safe household use of toaster ovens and air fryers.
Household appliances can reach temperatures required to inactivate Salmonella.
Household appliances differed in their ability to inactivate Salmonella.
Variability decreased and inactivation increased with longer oven cook times.
Revised cooking instructions for certain household appliances may be required.