University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County
Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Dept.February 2007I wish Id known these things!Download this PowerPoint at http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/myths.shtml
10 Safety MythsDont be myth- led!
Following are the facts for 10 common food safety myths...
Myth 1If it tastes O.K., it's safe to eat.
Fact 1Dont count on these to tell you if a food is safe to eat!
Estimates of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. each year76 million people become ill
5,000 people die
Would this many people eat something if they thought it tasted, looked or smelled bad?
Even if tasting would tell A tiny taste may not protect you.
As few as 10 bacteria could cause some foodborne illnesses, such as E. coli!Why risk getting sick?
Myth 2If you get sick from eating a food, it was from the last food you ate.
Fact 2It can take hour to 6 weeks to become sick from unsafe foods.
You usually feel OK immediately after eating and become sick later.
Foodborne illness is NOT a pretty picture!
Myth 3The worst that could happen to you with a foodborne illness is an upset stomach.
Fact 3Diarrhea Fever
Less common, but possible severe conditionsParalysis
Myth 4If Ive never been sick from the food I prepare, I dont need to worry about feeding it to others.
Fact 4Some people have a greater risk for foodborne illnesses. A food you can safely eat might make others sick. Is the food safe for everyone at the table?
People with a higher risk for foodborne illness
Myth 5People never used to get sick from their food.
Fact 5Many incidents of foodborne illness went undetected in the past.
Symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea were often and still are blamed on the "flu."
Foodborne illness vs. flu
More common in foodborne illness: Gastrointestinal More common in flu: Respiratory
NauseaChest discomfortVomitingCoughDiarrheaNasal congestionSore throatRunny or stuffy nose
Our food now travels farther with more chances for contamination.In days gone by, the chicken served at supper may have been in the hen house at noon!
Myth 6As long as I left the lid on a food that has set out too long, it is safe to eat.
Fact 6Though 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 bacteria left at room temperature 7 hours?
Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours at a refrigerator temperature of 40F or lower.
Myth 7If you let a food sit out more than two hours, you can make it safe by heating it really hot!
Fact 7Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus (staph), produce toxins not destroyed by high cooking temperatures.
Myth 8If a hamburger is brown in the middle, it is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Fact 81 out of 4 hamburgers turns brown before it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature.Source: United States Department of Agriculture/Food Safety & Inspection Service http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/therm/researchfs.htm
Which ground beef patty is cooked to a safe internal temperature?
Source: United States Department of Agriculture/Food Safety & Inspection Service http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/therm/researchfs.htm
This IS a safely cooked hamburger, (internal temperature of 160F), even though pink inside.This is NOT a safely cooked hamburger. Though brown inside, its undercooked. Source: United States Department of Agriculture/Food Safety & Inspection Service http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/therm/researchfs.htm
Research shows some ground beef patties look done at internal temperatures as low as 135F.
Cook to 160F
Food thermometers & thin foods
When measuring the temperature of a thin food, such as a hamburger patty, pork chop, or chicken breast, an instant-read digital thermometer should be used, if possible.
If using an instant-read dial thermometer, 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.
Myth 9Meat and poultry should be washed before cooking.
Fact 9Washing is NOT necessary or recommended.
Washing increases the danger of cross- contamination, spreading bacteria present on the surface 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.
USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures
Steaks & Roasts - 145F Fish - 145F Pork - 160F Ground Beef - 160F Egg Dishes - 160F Chicken Breasts - 165F Whole Poultry - 165F
Myth 10We should be 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 at http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2006_11_15/Brackett.pdf
Proper food handling helps assure food is safe to eat. 4 steps follow ...I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship. Louisa May Alcott, Author
Remember: When in doubt ...TOSS IT OUT!!!