Busting myths about food safety in the home

Food safety is often thought of as a concern in restaurants or supermarkets. However, there are many areas in the home that are sources of common and dangerous myths. Food poisoning can occur when these myths are followed as truth.

Food safety myths that must be dispelled in the home include:

The five second rule: There is actually no amount of time that food can safely remain on a floor or other contaminated surface. Bacteria attaches itself to food immediately once it makes contact.

Leftovers can be cooled and re-heated numerous times: Leftovers may taste better the second time around, but they should only be re-heated once. Cooling, handling, and re-heating food can create new opportunities for bacteria to grow. If there are too many leftovers for one additional meal, they should be packaged separately and frozen for future meals so they can be thawed individually.

Use-by dates are just suggestions: Food that needs refrigeration carries a date that is related to food safety. Consuming these perishable items after the use-by date can actually create a food poisoning risk. The best-before date, however,  is more about quality, indicating that a food item may not taste as good after the printed date.

Raw chicken should be washed before it is cooked: In reality, washing the raw chicken can create a splash effect on the cooking surface, contaminating countertops, stovetops, and cooking utensils. A bacteria called Campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning, is often found in raw chicken.   Another is Salmonella, which has been at the heart of a number of chicken related outbreaks in recent years.  As much as 20 t 30% of raw chicken tested positive for Salmonella as recently as five years ago, thought this is trending downwards. When chicken is cooked properly to an internal temperature of 180 degrees, any bacteria should be destroyed.

Food safety is a concern at home as well as at restaurants and grocery stores. Busting these myths at home can help reduce the potential for food poisoning incidents that can be painful and potentially fatal.

For more information about food safety, contact the food poisoning lawyers at 1-888-335-4901.