Ten Myths About Food Safety

Myth 1: Bacteria die in the microwave

Bacteria die in the microwave and when you choose microwave, then it is safe. Bacteria do not die because of the microwave, but because of the heat generated by the microwaves. If the food is warm enough, the bacteria will indeed die. It may happen that the food is not equally hot everywhere, for example due to varying thicknesses or due to an irregular shape or composition. At the cold spots of your food can still be sickening bacteria. Always follow the instructions of microwave meals. If you heat something, stir well and make sure everything is equally warm.

Myth 2: In the refrigerator, no cross-contamination with bacteria takes place because it is too cold for that

Although most bacteria cannot multiply in the refrigerator, they can often survive. Some even prefer cool, damp places and can grow there. To prevent cross-contamination, you must keep vegetables and fruit separate from meat and fish. It is also important to clean your refrigerator regularly with hot water and soap. Do not forget the sides and the bottom of the shelves.


Myth 3: You do not have to clean the greens of the refrigerator because they only contain fruit and vegetables

Bacteria and vegetables are naturally present on vegetables and fruit, for example from the soil in which they are grown. In 2013, the NSF stated in the International Household Germ Study it is clear that the vegetable bar is at the top of the list of items with the most germs in the kitchen. Make sure your greenhouse does not belong in this list and clean it regularly.

Myth 4: I do not wash my melon, because I only eat the inside

You may not eat the skin, the bacteria from the skin can easily go inside. Just think of the knife with which you cut the melon, that goes through the skin and through the flesh. Even if you put pieces of fruit on a dish, bacteria from the skin can infect other pieces of fruit. But just wash it, before you decide to eat it.

Myth 5: If you eat vegetarian, you do not have to worry about food poisoning

Just as well as meat, vegetable products can also contain bacteria that can make you ill. Especially with products that you eat raw, For example in a salad, it is important to wash them well. Do this under a running tap and do not forget to wash the peels. Leave the soap out, which is not meant to eat.

Myth 6: You can safely eat leftovers until they start to smell

Smell is not a good indicator for safe eating. There are enough bacteria to find that you can not smell but that you can actually make sick. Even food that looks good, smells good, and tastes good can make you sick. After 3 to 4 days of storage in the refrigerator, you should really throw away leftovers. So it is smart to put a date on your leftovers. If you want to keep leftovers longer, freeze them. Are you not sure how long something is in your fridge? Take no risk and do not eat it anymore.

Myth 7: Bacteria die in the freezer

Contrary to what many people think, bacteria do not die in the freezer. They can not grow, but they can survive. These germs can grow again during thawing. Listeria monocytogenes and Hepatitis A are examples of pathogens that can survive in the freezer for a long time. Thawed food should therefore always be heated well until the inside of the product is also warm enough and there are no more sick people present. Use a food thermometer to make sure that your entire meal is warm enough.

Myth 8: Rinse chicken flushes bacteria such as Salmonella away

This is also not true. In fact, bacteria can spread easily in this way. They end up in your sink, in which you might wash the lettuce afterwards, or splashes will end up on food that is already on the counter. So rinsing off meat does more harm than good and you can leave it better. The only way to kill the bacteria on meat is to carefully heat the meat. Use a food thermometer. If the inside of the meat is at least 75 degrees Celsius, you are well!

Myth 9: Only children become sick of raw cookie dough or cake batter

You can make the smallest bit of raw batter sick. Children certainly run the risk of becoming ill because their immune system is not yet fully developed. Even though you are mature and healthy, resist the temptation to taste a bite of the batter. Only when it comes out of the oven is it safe to eat. Well, too, right?

Myth 10: If a hamburger in the middle is brown, it is warm enough and you can eat it

You can not determine whether the burger is hot enough on the eye. The only way to know this is through, and there it is again, to use a food thermometer.

Keep this knowledge in mind and hopefully you will never run into food poisoning as a result of your own actions!

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