3 Everyday Food Safety Myths You Should Toss Out
With so many “food handling experts” online, you can easily adopt a wrong food practice. A simple online search about food safety, like “tips to ensure food safety,” will give a million results. Sieving facts from food safety myths can be difficult, which is why you should only trust the experts with a triple star guarantee. Otherwise, you may land in serious hot water.
Myth #1: Freezing Kills Bacteria
If you are among those who believe that you can easily kill all the bacteria in a food item by simply freezing it, then you are wrong. This is one of the most popular beliefs, but it’s wrong. No matter how low you keep the temperature, you cannot kill bacteria. Low temperatures only make the bacteria inactive. When the food is thawed, the bacteria revive and thrive on the favorable temperature, causing food-borne illnesses. You can only kill bacteria by heating your food to higher temperatures. If you’re cooking meat, for example, ensure you keep it hot held above 60°C (140°F) before serving it. This is something you can learn with a safe food handling course where you are taught everything about bacteria and how to ensure safe food cooking.
Myth #2: Once Food Changes Colour, it’s Safe to Eat
One mistake that most people in food service make is judge the readiness of food by visual clues. Some foods, like hamburger meat, can change colour before it’s cooked to the right temperature. The food items have multiple layers and changing the color of the outer layer doesn’t mean it is completely cooked and ready to eat. Judging readiness of food by looking at the changes in the colour will put your life at risk. Instead of using colour clues, use a thermometer to know if the food is cooked to the right temperature. Some bacteria can survive high temperatures, so always cook to the recommended temperature.
Myth #3: Washing Meat Before Cooking It Removes Bacteria
Do you always wash your meat before cooking it? Well, you should stop. Washing meat will not rinse the bacteria away. When you wash meat, poultry, or fish, you’re only spreading the bacteria to other surfaces. Yes, washing food is essential, but it will not make your meat bacteria-free. This is why it is suggested that you must wash meat of poultry products, if required, in a separate area of the kitchen to prevent cross-contamination.
Meat contains different kinds of bacteria, like salmonella, that can only be removed by thorough cooking to the recommended temperatures. Therefore, washing meat is no substitute for proper cooking.
Food safety is not only important for those who handle food on a large scale, like restaurateurs. Even at home, the health of your family relies heavily on your food handling routines. The more you learn about food safety myths and facts, the better you can reduce the risks of food-borne illnesses. With a little expert direction, food preparation will be easy as pie for you. Get your food handlers’ certificate by signing up today!
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