1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Food Myths debunked

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lapinrose, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    http://uk.health.lifestyle.yahoo.net/food-hygiene-myths-debunked-during-food-safety-week.htm


    Myth 1: The five second rule

    According to the "rule," if food drops onto the floor, it's safe to eat as
    long as you pick it up within five seconds.

    Fact: Total fiction. However quickly you manage to retrieve it, any contact
    with the floor is long enough for the food to pick up germs which can make you
    sick.

    Myth 2: The sniff test: If food looks and smells ok, then it's ok to
    eat


    Fact: While a bad smell or taste can be signs that food has gone off, these
    signs often aren't caused by germs that give you food poisoning. So the food's
    appearance, smell or taste are not reliable warning signs.

    Myth 3: Raw meat - especially chicken - should always be washed
    before you cook it


    Fact: Most raw meat has germs on it, but washing won't get rid of them. In
    fact, washing is more likely to spread germs around the kitchen. Splashes
    containing germs can contaminate you, worktops and anything else they come into
    contact with. Thorough cooking is the only way to get rid of these germs.

    Myth 4: A dodgy stomach is usually caused by the last thing you
    ate


    Fact: A reasonable assumption you might think, but it's not always the case.
    Food poisoning symptoms can take between one to three days to develop, so it
    won't necessarily be down to the last thing you ate.

    Myth 5: All red meat, such as steak and burgers, can be eaten
    rare


    Fact: Whole cuts of beef or lamb such as steaks, joints and cutlets can be
    eaten rare as they only have germs on the outside. As long as they are fully
    cooked, the germs will be killed. Burgers and sausages are made from minced meat
    and will have germs throughout, so they need to be cooked all the way through
    (as does poultry).

    Myth 6: Plastic chopping boards are more hygienic than wooden
    ones


    Fact: According to the Food Standard Agency, there isn't any strong evidence
    that one type of chopping board is more hygienic than another. All chopping
    boards should be cleaned thoroughly after each use, and replaced if damaged -
    for example from deep cuts or scoring.

    Myth 7: Most food poisoning is from dodgy restaurants and
    takeaways


    Fact: While most of us have suffered from a dodgy takeaway at sometime in our
    lives, there is no specific evidence that eating out is the main cause of food
    poisoning. Food poisoning cases in the UK soar during the hot summer weather,
    when it is more difficult to store food safely; it's also BBQ season!

    Myth 8: "Use by" dates are there to make you buy more

    Fact: This is the label you shouldn't ignore. The "use by" date tells you how
    long food will stay safe. They have to be put on food that goes off quickly -
    and they aren't just guesswork, the dates are worked out by scientific
    testing.

    Don't be tempted to eat food after the "use by" date on the label. Even if
    the food looks and smells fine, don't be tempted to eat it after the "use by"
    date, as it could make you sick.

    Myth 9: Cooked rice is as safe as any other leftover to eat so long
    as its stored in the fridge


    Fact: Leftover cooked rice is safe to eat as long as it is cooled and
    refrigerated quickly after cooking and eaten within 24 hours. This is because
    rice can contain a type of bacterium that can survive heating.

    Most other leftovers are safe to eat up to two days after cooking. Leftovers
    should always be heated until they are steaming hot, and never reheated more
    than once.

    Myth 10: You should always eat food before its "best before"
    date


    Fact: Best before" dates are about food quality, not safety, and are usually
    found on food that lasts a long time. If food has passed it's "best before"
    date, it doesn't mean it's unsafe to eat, but it might have started to lose its
    colour, flavour or texture.





    [​IMG]

    <h3 style="padding-bottom:10px;">HEALTH QUIZ: Do you know
    how to prevent food poisoning?
    </h3>
    Food poisoning can range from mild to severe, but most can be prevented. Do
    you know how?

    Take the quiz now
    >>



     
  2. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    http://uk.health.lifestyle.yahoo.net/food-hygiene-myths-debunked-during-food-safety-week.htm


    Myth 1: The five second rule

    According to the "rule," if food drops onto the floor, it's safe to eat as
    long as you pick it up within five seconds.

    Fact: Total fiction. However quickly you manage to retrieve it, any contact
    with the floor is long enough for the food to pick up germs which can make you
    sick.

    Myth 2: The sniff test: If food looks and smells ok, then it's ok to
    eat


    Fact: While a bad smell or taste can be signs that food has gone off, these
    signs often aren't caused by germs that give you food poisoning. So the food's
    appearance, smell or taste are not reliable warning signs.

    Myth 3: Raw meat - especially chicken - should always be washed
    before you cook it


    Fact: Most raw meat has germs on it, but washing won't get rid of them. In
    fact, washing is more likely to spread germs around the kitchen. Splashes
    containing germs can contaminate you, worktops and anything else they come into
    contact with. Thorough cooking is the only way to get rid of these germs.

    Myth 4: A dodgy stomach is usually caused by the last thing you
    ate


    Fact: A reasonable assumption you might think, but it's not always the case.
    Food poisoning symptoms can take between one to three days to develop, so it
    won't necessarily be down to the last thing you ate.

    Myth 5: All red meat, such as steak and burgers, can be eaten
    rare


    Fact: Whole cuts of beef or lamb such as steaks, joints and cutlets can be
    eaten rare as they only have germs on the outside. As long as they are fully
    cooked, the germs will be killed. Burgers and sausages are made from minced meat
    and will have germs throughout, so they need to be cooked all the way through
    (as does poultry).

    Myth 6: Plastic chopping boards are more hygienic than wooden
    ones


    Fact: According to the Food Standard Agency, there isn't any strong evidence
    that one type of chopping board is more hygienic than another. All chopping
    boards should be cleaned thoroughly after each use, and replaced if damaged -
    for example from deep cuts or scoring.

    Myth 7: Most food poisoning is from dodgy restaurants and
    takeaways


    Fact: While most of us have suffered from a dodgy takeaway at sometime in our
    lives, there is no specific evidence that eating out is the main cause of food
    poisoning. Food poisoning cases in the UK soar during the hot summer weather,
    when it is more difficult to store food safely; it's also BBQ season!

    Myth 8: "Use by" dates are there to make you buy more

    Fact: This is the label you shouldn't ignore. The "use by" date tells you how
    long food will stay safe. They have to be put on food that goes off quickly -
    and they aren't just guesswork, the dates are worked out by scientific
    testing.

    Don't be tempted to eat food after the "use by" date on the label. Even if
    the food looks and smells fine, don't be tempted to eat it after the "use by"
    date, as it could make you sick.

    Myth 9: Cooked rice is as safe as any other leftover to eat so long
    as its stored in the fridge


    Fact: Leftover cooked rice is safe to eat as long as it is cooled and
    refrigerated quickly after cooking and eaten within 24 hours. This is because
    rice can contain a type of bacterium that can survive heating.

    Most other leftovers are safe to eat up to two days after cooking. Leftovers
    should always be heated until they are steaming hot, and never reheated more
    than once.

    Myth 10: You should always eat food before its "best before"
    date


    Fact: Best before" dates are about food quality, not safety, and are usually
    found on food that lasts a long time. If food has passed it's "best before"
    date, it doesn't mean it's unsafe to eat, but it might have started to lose its
    colour, flavour or texture.





    [​IMG]

    <h3 style="padding-bottom:10px;">HEALTH QUIZ: Do you know
    how to prevent food poisoning?
    </h3>
    Food poisoning can range from mild to severe, but most can be prevented. Do
    you know how?

    Take the quiz now
    >>



     
  3. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Hmm..all this has confirmed my suspicion that I have the constitution of an ox...
     
  4. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Or been exposed to many low doses of the bacteria over the years!!
    I'm always very concerned by postings in the past that many posters believe the first two are valid. They have been lucky so far!! But there is a little truth in the first, 5 seconds may not be long enough to collect enough bacteria to harm someone, or your floor is very clean!!
     
  5. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Would the temperature of the food have a little bearing on this as well, Lapin?
     
  6. I used to work in a kitchen...and had my food-hygiene certificates.....so let's see if I know/follow the rules....

    Myth 1: The five second rule
    According to the "rule," if food drops onto the floor, it's safe to eat as long as you pick it up within five seconds.
    Yes, I've been guilty of this. Not often - but yes, I have eaten food that has dropped to the floor. (But only in a home setting - never, ever,<u>ever</u> when I worked in a kitchen!....I had two sets of rules then - strict for work and a little more lax at home!)
    Myth 2: The sniff test: If food looks and smells ok, then it's ok to eat
    I do this too - to some extent. But then I sniff most things (it's an Aspie thing....as a child I used to lick everything, I've moved on since then!)
    Myth 3: Raw meat - especially chicken - should always be washed before you cook it
    Not guilty! I never wash meat. (Phew! I thought I might be going for breaking <u>all</u> of the rules!)
    Myth 4: A dodgy stomach is usually caused by the last thing you ate
    Yes, I know this one!
    Myth 5: All red meat, such as steak and burgers, can be eaten rare
    Oh dear! This was always going to be a difficult one for me!
    I have eaten raw mince since I was a child, I love open sandwiches, German bread and raw minced beef mmmmmmm! And although today I go for just beef, as a child it was often half/half beef/pork mince.
    I remember going to school in England and having a really strict Cookery teacher telling me that Mum was probably going to die unless she stopped eating raw meat!
    Myth 6: Plastic chopping boards are more hygienic than wooden ones
    I have plastice boards for chopping - they were cheaper! And I replace them when they get deep cuts. I use wooden boards for presentation.
    I think I passed this one!
    Myth 7: Most food poisoning is from dodgy restaurants and takeaways
    I've worked in a restaurant/take-away. The hygiene there was much stricter than in my own kitchen!
    Myth 8: "Use by" dates are there to make you buy more
    I may sometimes think the date is a little strict - but that's the food industry ensuring the food is safe - not a sneaky marketing ploy!
    Myth 9: Cooked rice is as safe as any other leftover to eat so long as its stored in the fridge
    Oh I know this one! Do I ever! I learned the hard way! I was at a shared supper with a large group of people - everyone had brought a dish to share. In my naievity I thought the safest option was sweet/sour veg and rice!
    I was off work for a week.
    Myth 10: You should always eat food before its "best before" date
    I always use my own judgement on this.



     
  7. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    In agreement with nick here, must be my cast iron stomach. Having eaten just about anything just about anywhere, I can safely say I have broken all the rules many times. The worst is use by dates on things like apples - never understood that considering that they used to be kept in cool dry sheds for months for later use.
    My rules are a little simpler:
    1. If there is nobody eating there and there is a queue elsewhere, join the queue.
    2. If it is lamb, beef or game, it doesn't matter too much if its a little old looking (it will probably taste better) but if it has any sign of mould ditch it.
    3. Don't ever eat chicken unless you know its provenance, same with pork.
    4. If it is in the developing world all rules are off so just go with it and hope
    5. Bottled water all the way, wherever you are except home (generally because of chlorine levels, very occasionally due to potential bugs).
    Having had worse food poisoning in parts of Europe that are supposedly safe as houses than in rural sub-Saharan Africa after camping for two weeks in the desert, I think eating dirt was good for me after all....

     
  8. Oh shut up - all of you!
    I just took a L2 food safety course in order to work in a kitchen that is about to be pulled down!
    I could quote you all the safe temperatures, hot/cold keeps, danger zones, how to cool rice safely, sear meat so it can be eaten raw etc etc etc
    But I won't, cos it was a complete waste of time. By the time the certificate gets issued the kitchen won't exist and I won't be able to play nicely with all the new students in September!

    PAH!! HUMBUG!!! PILLOCKY PILLOCKS!!!
     
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Yep!
     

Share This Page