Food poisoning is rampant in the U.S. According to USA Today, contaminated food causes 48,000,000 illnesses of which 125,000 are hospitalized. While most cases result in only an upset stomach, 3000 die.
Simply Washing Your Hands Keeps your Food from Becoming Contaminated. Wrong
Food safety begins with cleanliness. Hands must be scrubbed at least 20 seconds with soap and running water. Hands must be washed up to the wrist and with special attention to cleaning under the nails. A quick rinse will not do the job. Wash them between handling different kinds of food, especially meat, to avoid cross-contamination. A quick rinse will not be sufficient. Use a clean paper towel for drying. A cloth towel become contaminated after one use.
Freezing Kills All Bacteria. False
Freezing is a popular method of preserving food. It will keep several months with little loss of quality. The time period depends on the type of food. But contrary to popular conception, freezing does not kill all bacteria. Many bacteria will survive and will begin to multiply when the food is thawed.
A Hamburger is Safe When the Pink is Gone. Not Necessarily
Many believe that hamburger is safe when cooked until it is no longer pink inside. Although many people use this as a rough guide, it is unsafe. Other factors can cause hamburger to lose its pink color; exposure to air, the age of the animal and the fat content. Food experts say that the only safe method is to cook hamburgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Thoroughly Cooked Food is Safe. Maybe.
Actually it is in more danger of being contaminated after cooking, while it is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So it is in danger until it is refrigerated to a temperature of 40 degrees or less Fahrenheit. It should not be allowed to sit on the counter more than two hours, to reduce the chance of bacteria growth.
Peeled Fruit and Vegetables Do Not Need to Be Washed
Most people are probably guilty of eating an unwashed and unpeeled apple. They probably did not suffer any consequences, but it is a very poor practice. The apple is probably covered with bacteria and insecticide residue. Many also feel that peeling fruit and vegetables without washing them is safe. No doubt, it is safer than eating them unpeeled, but insect spray residue and bacteria will inevitably be transferred by the hands from the peeling to the vegetables or fruit.
By following these rules and facts, the danger of food contamination is reduced, but not totally eliminated. It is an imperfect world.
Kathleen M Zelman MPH RD, LD/”9 Food Poisoning Myths”/WebMD
“Food Safety MythsExposed”/Food Safety.gov
Liz Szabo/”Experts Dispel Myths About Foodborne Illness”/USA Todayhttp://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/01/food-poisoning-myths/4475101/