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Food Myths debunked!!

Discussion in 'Personal' 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
    Also posted on Food! I have seen many posters saying they do these, especially the first two!
    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
    Also posted on Food! I have seen many posters saying they do these, especially the first two!
    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. Did anyone really think the 5 second rule was serious???
     
  4. I'd never even heard this until I saw it on Mythbusters.
    It also depends on the food and the prep stage (and how clean the floor is). If I dropped a half peeled potato I'd pick it up and wash it.
    But if it DOES smell then it's not OK

    Try explaining that to a Jamaican.
    Actually it is true for the UK but not for everywhere in the world.
    I thought several hours - not days. Surelyfood leaves your stomach before three days - or does it depend which end the symptoms are?
    Common sense surely
    but wooden ones crack in the dishwasher, bacteria can be harboured in the cracks. If you use a dishwasher to clean boards better to have plastic ones.
    And if you have been on a night oiut it might be the alcohol not the kebab that upset you.
    never heard this one either
    knew that one too
    knew that too

    tried to take the quiz but the link didn't work
     
  5. Guaranteed. Why on earth would you put a wooden chopping board in a dishwasher? Give it a wash and an occasional oil. Live life on the edge.
     
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It takes longer than 3 days for me. I've tested it by having a 2 week break from seeded bread (some seeds pass through undigested) and then re-introduced. It can be 5 days before they next make an appearance!
    I'd never put wooden boards in the dishwasher. They get an immediate hot soapy scrub (not immersed in the bowl)and then have a kettle of boiling water poured over them . I read an article a few years ago that actually recommended wood over plastic as wood retains properties from when it was a tree and protected itself from infection etc.
    Years ago they tested the sea at Blackpool and it's minging with bacteria. There's a tall pole near the seafront that is actually a ventilation chimney for the gases from the raw sewage pumped out to sea there. They've only ever achieved a clean beach category by testing when the tide was out, apparently! Tourists tended to blame the seaside landlady's food for their stomach upsets but it was more likely to have been from taking a swim (ear infections too).




     
  7. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    ...and other infections, and not just at Blackpool but on any beach, although the risk is higher where the local water company has long sea outfall pipes instead of UV treatment. You can add your weight to the protest about the state of our seas by joining Surfers Against Sewage, or find out more here: www.sas.org.uk
    [​IMG] just a little plug, there, couldn't resist!!
    Back on-topic, I've also heard that wooden boards have antibacterial properties. Does the same apply to wooden utensils?
     
  8. The best chopping boards are made from joined hardwood blocks and have the end-grain as the chop surface, They don't cut so deep, last longer and wash easily. IME wooden utensils can go in the DW. They tend to bleach an go soggy but dry out. Cheap anough to replace bit I am coming round to silicone as better albeit less traditional.
     
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Mine do.
    As for myth 2 about food looking or smelling ok, that is pretty much what I do. Food, even meat, fish and dairy, lasts beyond the 'use by' date as there is a safety net built into this date of a few extra days. I know it is not always the case, but look and smell worked for generations before use by dates and even refrigerators were invented. Obviously I also use common sense.
    Best before dates are crap. Even sealed bottles of water have 'best before' dates. Pah! Utter bull manure if you ask me. I totally ignore them, especially as most of them on tins, jars and packets will still be there way after the contents have gone!
     
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Oh, and I do pick (raw) food up off the floor, give it a quick rinse and continue to cook it. My floor is pretty clean as OH (aka Mrs Doubtfire) is constantly mopping it with a bleach solution!
    Anyhow, a few bacteria are good for our immune system [​IMG]
     
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The myth of the 5 second rule about usingfood that has drooped on the floor relates to things like sweets that people might otherwise pick up na dcarry on eating. There's no particular issue with picking up something (even after 5 seconds!), washing it and then cooking it. After all, things like vegetables started off in dirt.
    You do need to be aware of how bacteria-laden a floor can be though. You could have just walked on a pavement with traces of dog poo, for intance, before getting home. I try to leave outdoor shoes near the door and change into slippers indoors, mainly for comfort but also to minimise cross-contamination to the kitchen floor (then I don't have to clean it so often!)
     
  12. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    Steak Tartare anyone?
     
  13. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    It is a list of stupid myths made up to push a set of tedious rules. Common-sense, written for primary kids by the tone, not terribly impotant, if you don't know them where were you educated? The users of this forum are grown up, probably well educated, who cares if they eat regurgitated dog food? I just can't see the relevance of this to the personal forum.
    no offence meant
     
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Steak Tartare should only be served when newly sliced steak (a middle slice) is minced and served immediately. That way there will be hardly any surface bacteria.
     
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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