Article by Lisa Weber, Food Safety and Education Staff
Source: Home Food Safety Mythbusters
For a long time we've heard advice related to food safety. Some true, some untrue. It is critical that we know about popular and dangerous myths and their factual counterparts as it relates to food safety.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education has created a quiz that helps us to debunk common food safety myths and recognize safe food handling procedures.
Take the quiz and see how you score. When you are done, share it with someone else, together we can help make Louisiana healthier.
Once a hamburger turns brown in the middle it is cooked to a safe temperature. True or False
False -- You can't look at food and determine whether it is cooked to a safe temperature. The only way to know is to use a thermometer -- ground meat (like hamburger) should be cooked to 160 degrees F.
Plastic or glass cutting boards don't hold harmful bacteria on the surfaces the way that wooden cutting boards do. True or False
False -- Any type of cutting board can host harmful bacteria on its surface. Regardless of the type of board, it should be washed and sanitized after each use. Make a sanitizing solution consisting of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. You can use it on counter tops and other surfaces as well and it will last for a week.
We should not put hot food in the refrigerator. True or False
False -- You can put hot food directly into the refrigerator, but a large pot of food like stew or soup should be divided into smaller portions and put into shallow containers for quicker cooling. Remember that food isn't safe after sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if it's 90 degrees or warmer).
Freezing food kills bacteria that can cause food poisoning. True or False
False -- Absolutely not! Bacteria can survive freezing temperatures and they continue to multiply when the food is thawed. Cooking food to the proper temperature (and using a thermometer) is the best way to kill bacteria.
We don't need to wash produce if we peel it. True or False
False -- You should always wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting or cooking. Harmful bacteria could be on the outside and your knife or hands could transfer it to the part you eat.
Rinsing chicken with water in a sink will remove bacteria like salmonella. True or False
False -- Rinsing poultry won't remove bacteria. In fact, it can spread raw juices around your sink and onto counter tops, ready to eat foods and other surfaces. Bacteria is killed when poultry reaches 165 degrees F on a food thermometer.
Locally grown or organic foods will never give people food poisoning. True or False
False -- Any food, organic or not can contain harmful bacteria either from the growing site or bacteria can be introduced at any point from the farm to our home. That's why it is important to reduce foodborne illness by practicing the four steps: clean, separate, cook and chill.
Leftovers are safe to eat until they smell bad. True or False
False -- There are all kinds of bacteria. Some of which don't affect the taste, smell or appearance of food. That's why it's important to freeze or toss leftovers within three to four days. Remember this motto: "When in doubt, throw it out!"