The efficiency of microwave ovens in destroying the harmful bacteria frequently found in common foods is diminished b...

Aley on September 9, 2019

Explanation of Answer

My Reasoning for the Stimulus: If Salt Present (SP) -> Efficiency of Microwave Down (EoMD) (Contrapositive) ~EoMD -> ~SP If ~Internally Heated(IH) -> Food Poisoning(FP), ~FP -> (IH) Conclusion If SP -> ~IH -> FP C/D appear to fit here. My logic for choosing C over D is if I have food with no salt increasing the salt increases the probability of food posioning as SP -> ~IH -> FP but removal of salt (salt already not used) does not decrease my danger. But I can see on the flip side if I have a block of salt (food saturated with salt) with bacteria inside, D would be more correct. Can you please explain this?

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SamA on September 16, 2019

Hello @Aley,

I think your diagram of this question may have caused you to overthink it a bit.
I would try to keep it simpler, but you are welcome to diagram in any way you find helpful.

If the food is salted, it cannot reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria.

If the food is unsalted, it can reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria.

The scientists theorize that salt blocks the microwaves.

It would be reasonable to conclude that heating salted food in the microwave is more likely to lead to food poisoning, which is why D is correct.

C is incorrect due to a problem with the sequence. Pay attention to "has been cooked or reheated." This answer choice suggests that adding salt to the food AFTER it has been in the microwave can increase danger of food poisoning. This is not supported by the premise. The internal temperature of the food in the microwave is what kills dangerous bacteria. What happens to the food after it is cooked/reheated is not mentioned in the premise.