Food Safety Myths- Explained

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When we cook food at home, we take utmost care to ensure food being prepared and served to our family members are safe and healthy.  But surprisingly, some of the practice we follow in our kitchen is actually myth. Following those practice will lead to poor food safety and increased risk of food poisoning incidents.

MYTH: 1

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IT IS OKAY TO EAT MOULDY FOOD ONCE THE MOULDY SECTION IS REMOVED

Not at all. Visible mould is usually an indicator that the food is more contaminated. Fungi, bacteria and toxins can be present in area of the food that are not visible, so what looks like a small area of contamination could be much large.

MYTH: 2

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IF I PEEL FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, I DON’T NEED TO WASH THEM

The peeling process will expose fresh produce to cross contamination by means transferring chemicals and harmful bacteria to the edible to internal layers of the food. Soil particles and dirt contain contaminants and are often found on fresh produce. It is therefore important to thoroughly wash fruit and vegetables before and after peeling.

MYTH: 3

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COOKING KILLS BACTERIA

Partly true. Some bacteria produce spores and toxins that are not destroyed by cooking, increasing their ability to cause foodborne illness. Good food safety handling practices can minimise the risk.

MYTH: 4

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YOU SHOULD NOT PLACE HOT FOOD IMMEDIATELY IN THE REGRIGERATOR

Not true. It is important however to ensure that large quantities of food are divided into smaller portions and placed in shallow container for quicker cooling in the refrigerator and that the refrigerator is not overcrowded.  Bacteria multiply rapidly at temperatures between 5 Degree Celsius between 63 degree Celsius.

MYTH:5

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I DON’T NEED TO WASH MY HANDS SINCE I USED HAND SANITIZING GEL.

Even though hand sanitizers can effectively kill some germs on our hands, they do little to reduce surface tension between your skin and dirt, grease and germs. The sanitizer only has an effect on the outer layers of film on your hands. The best way to clean your hands is to first wet your hands with warm water, lather with soap for at least 20 seconds rinse with warm water, then dry with a clean towel.

 MYTH:6

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AN UPSET STOMACH IS THE WORST OUTCOME OF FOOD POISONING

While this may be true on some occasions, there are times when food poisoning can result in longer term conditions, such as kidney failure, meningitis, stillbirths, GuillainBarre Syndrome and hemorhagic  colitis. Diarrhoea, Headache, vomiting and dehydration are the more common symptoms generally associated with food poisoning

Reference:

http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/7451/mythsexposed.pdf

http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/FoodSafety/Myths

http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/myths/

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