Heating "ready to eat" food
Is there any chance that someone that understands the subject could tell me, whether food that is "ready to eat", if heated needs to be heated properly? And if so, why?
I know that some people might be tempted to just say to heat it properly to be safe, but I'm not interested in that; I'm interested in the actual facts.
It seems to me that anything that is labelled "ready to eat" (and well before its use by date of course) must necessarily have a very small number of bacteria. I've found that apparently at their favourite temperature, the relevant bacteria will double their numbers in 15 minutes. Therefore, if I heated something for 10 minutes that should really be heated for 15 or 20, then the worst that could happen is that the bacteria numbers would double, which would mean that there's still a very small number.
If there is anything else going on that I am missing, please let me know.
Thanks very much,