I've made jerky in a dehydrator and in a smoker. It is cooking, but at a low temperature. It important to use lean meat. Make sure there isn't any fat in your pieces. The fat will go rancid and this make the jerky not shelf stable.
Honestly, I have kids and it never occurred to me that the kids or us could get sick. We even had the jerky stored in a cool/cold garage for several weeks. We never got ill from it. You are curing/seasoning it prior to dehydrating the meat?
Heating the meat up to 160 should be enough to kill any bacteria.
I don't recall cooking my jerky at 185. This seems high.