Can't Find a Medical Thermometer? Use a Digital Meat Thermometer to Take Your Temperature

Prostock-Studio, iStock via Getty Images
Prostock-Studio, iStock via Getty Images / Prostock-Studio, iStock via Getty Images

Toilet paper and masks aren't the only items disappearing from stores during the novel coronavirus crisis. A fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, and people have been stocking up on thermometers as a precaution. If you find yourself feeling sick and can't find a medical thermometer to take your temperature, using a meat thermometer works in a pinch, according to Lifehacker.

Like oral thermometers, instant-read digital meat thermometers use sensors and a bit of computing power to calculate the temperature of whatever you stick them into. That means they work just as well for detecting fevers as they do for telling you when your steak is overcooked.

When using a kitchen tool for medical purposes, the most important thing to remember is sanitation. Disinfect your meat thermometer by swabbing the probe with rubbing alcohol. Once it's clean, you can hold it under your tongue like you would a regular thermometer. The major differences are that a food thermometer won't beep when it's done calculating, and the sharp tip is meant for penetrating meat, so you have to be careful when sticking it into your mouth. After your temperature has been measured, don't forget to sanitize the device again with alcohol before putting it away.

If you suspect you may have a fever, educate yourself on the number to look for on the thermometer. Standard human body temperature is commonly described as 98.6°F, but recent research has shown that the average may be slightly lower today.

[h/t Lifehacker]