Most of us have been there before, that bubbly feeling in your gut, followed by frequent throwing up sessions. All that while a fever keeps you feeling sorry for yourself.
It’s called food poisoning.
Those are actually the lucky ones, since food borne illnesses can be fatal. They are responsible for around 3,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone.
To make things even worse, there are many myths and misinformation about food poisoning out there. These make it harder for people to safely handle foods, thus, increasing the odds of them contacting food-borne diseases.
Hopefully, you don’t become a statistic, so here are five common myths and facts about food poisoning you should know:
1. Myth: It’s safe to thaw meats on the counter.
Fact: Absolutely not. Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature, so you should avoid thawing food in the refrigerator. The proper way to thaw meats is by placing it in the refrigerator where it will be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit which isn’t conducive to bacterial growth.
2. Myth: You can always tell if food is bad by the looks and smell.
Fact: You can sometimes detect bacteria ridden food by its smell and coloring, but that isn’t a foolproof detection method. If you have good reason to believe food you’re about to consume has been exposed to food poisoning inducing bacteria, just throw it away.
3. Myth: I don’t have to worry about cooked foods since cooking kills bacteria.
Fact: False. While cooking indeed kills bacteria, that doesn’t stop them from growing once the temperature of the food drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why it’s important to keep food warm even after cooking.
4. Myth: There is no need to wash fruits I’m going to peel off anyway.
Fact: Bacteria can still contaminate food when peeling with your hands or a knife, so it’s best to wash all fruit with water before consuming.
5. Myth: Eggs are always safe to eat as long as they are cooked.
Fact: Nope. Eggs are only safe to eat when the egg white is fully cooked and the yolk is at least gelled. Sorry sunny-side up lovers, but you will be healthier in the long run opting for over easy.