It is common for food safety tips to be passed down through generations and word of mouth. However, we know through new scientific discoveries that what was deemed safe in 1920, is not necessarily safe today. While you may have never fallen deathly ill from bad food, there may very well be potential food safety hazards looming in your own kitchen right at this moment. Most of the time food borne illnesses go unreported, and people will ignore the reality that the food they cooked at home made them sick. Truthfully, no amount of pharmaceutical training can substitute for careful health precautions when cooking. To avoid any upset stomachs at your next dinner party, catch up on your food safety training by reviewing these food myths.
Freezing Foods: The Dos and Don’ts
There is a common misconception that once frozen food has been thawed, it can no longer be frozen again. This myth is especially prominent for refreezing thawed meats; however, as long as food has been defrosted in the refrigerator, there is little chance harmful bacteria can infiltrate and grow.
It is however, never a good idea to leave meats on the counter to thaw. Although the center of the meat may still be frozen, the outside becomes warm and attracts bacteria.
Peeling Vegetables and Washing Food
No matter how much you want to believe it, peeling vegetables does not take the place of washing them. The truth is that potential bacteria on the outside of that carrot are easily transferred to the inside flesh through the very action of peeling. This rarely concerns people because most don’t associate food borne illnesses with vegetables. It therefore might be surprising to hear that vegetables are actually the number one cause of food-related illnesses, the biggest offenders being leafy greens and sprouts, which have caused widespread cases of Listeria.
Leftovers: To Keep or Not to Keep?
Leftovers are always a tricky topic, and there seems to be a wavering line between what is fine to eat and what’s pushing it. The expiration date is usually a pretty clear indicator of when food is good or bad, but for those of us who like to play with fire, it is important to remember that even after removing mould from food, it is still infected with bacteria. Keep in mind that many harmful bacteria have no look, smell or taste, which is why it is best to keep leftovers in the refrigerator no longer than a week. A course in food quality training would be beneficial for knowing exactly how long certain foods can stay good in the fridge.
Organization of the Fridge
The fridge is a tricky thing to organize, especially in a family where food is going in and out every day. What many don’t realize is that the fridge is divided into “cooler” and “less cool” areas, meaning that proper organization can ensure certain foods keep for longer. Here’s the lowdown:
- Fruits and vegetables should be kept in the crisper.
- Butter and cheeses don’t need to be as cold and therefore can be kept in the dairy compartment on the door of the fridge (the warmest part).
- Highly perishable foods such as dairy, raw meat and deli meats belong on the bottom shelf, which is the coldest.
- Condiments, beverages and eggs can go on the middle to top shelves, as they require the least amount of refrigeration.
Do you know any other food safety tips for safe eating at home?