Food Safety: What You DON'T Know CAN Hurt YOU!
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County Joyce Jensen, REHS, CP-FS Alice Henneman, MS, RD Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Dept. I wish I’d known these things! Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org Updated June, 2010.This is a peer-reviewed publication.
10 Safety Myths Don’t be “myth”-led! Following arethe facts for 10 common foodsafety myths...
Myth 1 If it tastes okay, it’s safe to eat.
Smell Sight Taste Fact 1 Don’t counton these to tell you ifa food issafe to eat!
76 million peoplebecome ill Estimates of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. each year 5,000 people die
Would this many people eat something if they thought it tasted, looked or smelled bad?
Even if tasting would tell … Why risk getting sick? A “tiny taste” may not protect you. As few as 10 bacteriacould cause somefoodborne illnesses, such as E. coli!
OOPS! Myth 2 If you get sick from eating a food, it was from the last food you ate.
Fact 2 It can take ½ hour to6 weeks tobecome sickfrom unsafe foods.
Hey guys, I have to throw up! Foodborne illness is NOT a pretty picture!
Myth 3 The worst that could happen to you with a foodborne illness is an upset stomach.
Upset stomach OOPS! Dehydration(sometimes severe) Fact 3 Diarrhea Fever
Meningitis Death Less common, but possible severe conditions Paralysis
Myth 4 If I’ve never been sick from the food I prepare, I don’t need to worry about feeding it to others.
Fact 4 Some people have a greater risk for foodborne illnesses. Is the food safefor everyone at the table? A food you can safely eat might make others sick.
Infants Pregnantwomen Young children andolder adults People with weakened immunesystems and individuals withcertain chronic diseases People with a higher risk for foodborne illness
Myth 5 People never used to get sick from their food.
Fact 5 Many incidents of foodborne illness went undetected in the past.
Symptoms of nausea,vomiting,anddiarrhea were often, and still are, blamed on the “flu.”
More common in foodborne illness: Gastrointestinal Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea More common in flu: Respiratory Chest discomfort Cough Nasal congestion Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose Foodborne illness vs. flu
More reasons for foodborne illnesses than in the past ... Bacteria have become more potent over the years.
Our food now travels farther with more chances for contamination. Still more reasons ... In days gone by, the chicken served at supper may have been in the hen house at noon!
Myth 6 As long as I left the lid on a food that has sat out too long, it is safe to eat.
Fact 6 Though food may be safe after cooking, it may not be safe later. Just one bacteria in the food can double in 20 minutes!
How many bacteria will grow from one bacterialeft at room temperature for 7 hours?
Refrigerateperishable foods within two hours at a refrigerator temperature of 40°F or lower.
On a hot day (90°F or higher), food should not sit out for more than one hour.
Myth 7 If you let a food set out for more than two hours, you can make it safe by heating it really hot!
Fact 7 Some bacteria, such as Staphylococcus (staph), produce toxins that are not destroyed by high cooking temperatures. Image: Content provider: CDC/Matthew J. Arduino, DRPH,Photo credit: Janice Haney Carr
Did you know “Staphylococcus” comes from a Greek word meaning “a bunch of grapes?”
Myth 8 If a hamburger is brown in the middle, it is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Fact 8 1 out of 4 hamburgers turns brown before it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature. http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf
A B Which ground beef patty is cookedto a safe internal temperature? http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf
B A This is NOT a safely cooked hamburger. Though brown inside, it is undercooked. This IS a safely cooked hamburger (internal temperature of 160ºF) even though pink inside. http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf
Research shows some ground beef patties look done at internal temperaturesas low as 135ºF. A temperature of 160ºF is needed to destroy E. coli. http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf
The ONLY way to know food has been cooked to a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer!
How to use a food thermometer • Wash thermometer with hot soapy water before and after use. • Use before the food is expected to be “done.” • Place in the thickestpart of the food, not touching bone, fat or gristle. • Compare reading to USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures.
USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures Beef, veal, lamb: steaks & roasts - 145°F Fish: 145°F Pork: 160°F Beef, veal, lamb: ground - 160°F Egg dishes: 160°F Turkey, chicken & duck: whole, pieces & ground - 165°F
Food thermometers & thin foods On an “instant-read” dialthermometer, the probe must be inserted in the side of the food so the entire sensing area (usually 2-3 inches) is positioned through the center of the food.
Food thermometers & thin foods When possible, use a digitalthermometer to measure the temperature of a thin food. The sensing area is only ½- to 1-inch long and easier to place in the center of the food.
Digital and dial thermometers in thin foods Digital thermometer Dial thermometer Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Beef Council
Myth 9 Meat and poultry should be washed before cooking.
Fact 9 Washing meat and poultry is NOT necessary or recommended.
Washing increasesthe danger of cross-contamination,spreading bacteriapresent on thesurface of meat and poultry to: • ready-to-eat foods • kitchen utensils • counter surfaces.
Cooking meat and poultry to the recommended internal temperature will make them safe to eat.
Myth 10 We shouldbe scared of eating almost everything!
Fact 10 “... the American food supply continues to be among the safest in the world.” Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, November 15, 2006 http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t061115a.html