Food poisoning is not a particularly fun experience, and those who have had the ‘honor’ of experiencing it can attest to that. Like any situation that affects people, there are bound to be misconceptions, misdiagnosis and general misinformation; whether in part or as a whole. Such skewed facts when constantly perpetuated ultimately result in what we may describe as a myth. As far as food poisoning goes, here are five facts and myths.
1. Fact: Food poisoning affects about one out of every six Americans.
As you can see, this is an indication that the likelihood of an individual getting food poisoning at some point is relatively high. This breaks down to about 48 million Americans getting food poisoned every year.
2. Myth: If you take frozen meat out of the freezer, it is fine to thaw it out on the counter, since bacteria won’t survive its frozen state.
This is false, as the meat can grow harmful bacteria at a fast rate when it drops to room temperature. For this reason, it is best to thaw your meats overnight in the refrigerator, thaw it by microwaving it (and cook immediately), or simply by thaw it by cooking it right away.
3. Fact: About 3,000 people die every year from a food poisoning related illness.
While the severity of food poisoning effects have a wide range, most people will recover without going through any highly significant ailment.
4. Myth: If you are going to peel your fruits and vegetables, there is no need to wash them.
This is false, as the possibility of transferring bacteria from the exterior into the edible parts is very high when the peel is unwashed. In cases like this, it is recommended to wash them under running water without using any form of soap. Also, cut out any damaged parts and dry them with a clean towel.
5. Fact: Even eggs with clean exteriors and shells in perfect condition can still cause food poisoning.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with Salmonella. The best way to minimize this possibility is by thoroughly preparing the egg. If it is being hard-boiled, then boil it till both the egg-white and yolk are hard. When preparing scrambled eggs, fry it until there is no gel-like content left. It is also recommended to serve these foods right away, as bacteria can multiply rapidly in temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Food Safety” – Foodsafety.gov
“Clean” – Foodsafety.gov
“Food Facts” – FDA.gov