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Do Toasters Kill Bacteria?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Toasting bread gives it a brown, tough and crispy nature. Some people prefer to toast their bread rather than eat it plain, while others toast it with the belief it’s going to kill the bacteria in the bread. Could this be true?

Toasters may or may not kill bacteria. The bacteria could be yeast used in making it and lactobacillus bacteria which is beneficial and aids digestion. However, these bacteria have already been killed in the oven during the baking process. Nevertheless, a toaster might kill bacteria if it’s extremely hot, like an oven.

Can A Toaster Get Hot Enough To Kill Bacteria?

Yes, a toaster can get hot enough to kill bacteria.

Bacteria don’t survive under very high temperatures. However, some do. But most don’t. For bacteria to be killed in our food, they must have been subjected to a very high temperature by boiling or heating. This heating could be in an oven or a toaster.

When electricity is supplied to the toaster, energy is then transferred to the toaster. This allows friction to occur as a result of the molecules of the bread moving fast. This produces more heat in the toaster for better cooking.

Toasters use infrared radiation to heat bread. This radiation dries the surface of the bread. At high intensity, bacteria are killed. This means that, as toasters use infrared radiation, temperature increases, thereby inhibiting bacterial growth on the bread.

Simply put, there’s a temperature a toaster would reach that would make bacteria uncomfortable to live in. The temperature of about 150°F kills bacteria in food, and bread is not excluded. It is also important to know that a toaster can get as hot as 150°F – 500°F.

This temperature is extremely high and is more than enough to get rid of bacteria. Since bacteria like wet places, the toaster makes your bread dry by using its heating elements, thereby rendering bacteria useless in your bread.

Again, when a toaster gets hot enough to kill bacteria, the cells are damaged, enzymes change their shape, and there is an alteration of membranes, making them unable to perform their work.

This means that there is some level of heat bacteria can withstand. But when the heat gets too much, it is subdued and rendered useless.

Would Toasting Expired Bread Make It Safe To Eat?

Toasting expired bread won’t necessarily make it safe to eat. Eating expired bread is bad, but the severity of the danger of doing this depends on how long it has stayed after expiration.

Bread has a limited period in which you can best eat it. This means that You can eat it even a few days after expiry until the mold is visibly seen on it. Nonetheless, when expired bread is eaten, it is okay. But it might not taste the way it was when it was just made.

Toasting expired bread doesn’t make it less expired or special, nor does it make it fresh. Expired bread can be toasted and eaten, but once molds start growing on it, it shouldn’t be eaten even though you toast it to the highest temperature.

Normally, you can tell if a loaf of bread is safe to eat even without looking at the expiration date. From the color, the smell, the flavor, and the taste. Is it still sweet? Has it changed color? Does it have a foul smell? Does it have things growing on it?

The issue with eating expired bread is mold. This is because the heat might kill it when toasted, but the harmful toxins produced by it would still be left in the bread thereby contaminating it. This could cause allergies, food poisoning, and respiratory problems.

When the bread is past its expiry date, it is still good to consume 5-7 days past its expiry date. But please note that once a mold starts to grow, it should be trashed.


Knowing certain things is important because things we see as ‘minor’ play important roles in our health. While toasters kill bacteria and mold at high temperatures, it’s still not valid to eat expired bread.

Nonetheless, it’s best to always consume bread that hasn’t reached its best before date. Toasters are good in our homes as they give us dry, crispy, and brown bread and help kill the bacteria in the bread. This simply means toasting your bread every day isn’t a bad idea.

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