Is That Safe to Eat?

Nancy Monson | Oct 12th 2017 Oct 13th 2017

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What is the No. 1 thing you can do to reduce your risk of foodborne illness?
  1. 1 Wash your hands frequently
  2. 0 Use hand sanitizer frequently
  3. 0 Use an antibacterial soap
  4. 0 All of the above
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The correct answer is 1. Proper and frequent handwashing is the best defense against spreading germs (pathogens) that can cause foodborne illness, according to Stop Foodborne Illness, a national, nonprofit, public health organization . Hand sanitizer can be helpful, but is not a substitute for handwashing. And antibacterial soap containing ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban is no longer recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because there’s little evidence it’s more effective than plain soap and water, and it may contribute to antibacterial resistance.

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  1. What is the No. 1 thing you can do to reduce your risk of foodborne illness?

    Correct Answer: Wash your hands frequently

    The correct answer is 1. Proper and frequent handwashing is the best defense against spreading germs (pathogens) that can cause foodborne illness, according to Stop Foodborne Illness, a national, nonprofit, public health organization . Hand sanitizer can be helpful, but is not a substitute for handwashing. And antibacterial soap containing ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban is no longer recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because there’s little evidence it’s more effective than plain soap and water, and it may contribute to antibacterial resistance.

  2. Which of these foods has a greater chance of making you sick?

    Correct Answer: All

    The correct answer is 5. All of those foods have been associated with foodborne illness. According to the Center for the Science in the Public Interest, symptoms could be as minor as stomach cramps and diarrhea for a day or two or as serious as kidney failure.

  3. When eating out, which of these dishes is more likely to cause a foodborne illness?

    Correct Answer: Salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, and raw bean sprouts

    The correct answer is 2. Leafy greens, tomatoes, and raw bean sprouts have been associated with several outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella and E. coli. The Food and Drug Administration advises older adults, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems not to eat any form of raw sprouts.

  4. You should never smell or taste a food to tell if it will make you sick.

    Correct Answer: True

    The correct answer is 1. A strange odor or a funny taste is a definite clue that a food has gone bad, but many bacteria, viruses, and parasites don’t affect the smell, taste, texture, or look of a food, so don’t use that as a guide. Avoid smelling and certainly tasting a food to tell if it’s spoiled because you’ll be exposed to the pathogen.

  5. When preparing chicken, you should always do which of the following?

    Correct Answer: Cook chicken until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165° F

    The correct answer is 3. Cook poultry until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F the minimum needed to kill harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Don’t wash raw chicken or meat because that can spread bacteria to other foods and surfaces, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And you never want to thaw meats and poultry on the counter; when they’re allowed to reach a temperature between 40° F and 140° F, germs multiple rapidly. Thaw foods in the refrigerator, cold water, or in the microwave.

  6. Unpasteurized cider or fruit juice is as safe to drink as fresh or pasteurized cider or fruit juice.

    Correct Answer: False

    The correct answer is 2. Unpasteurized cider and juice can be contaminated with Salmonella or E. coli. The same goes for unpasteurized milk and other dairy foods. Always look for pasteurized products, meaning they have been heated to destroy harmful bacteria. Unpasteurized foods are particularly dangerous for pregnant women, babies, and young children, older adults, and people with weak immune systems, all of whom can get seriously ill from foodborne pathogens.

  7. It’s OK to eat a hard cheese, like cheddar or Parmesan, that has mold on it if you cut the mold off.

    Correct Answer: True

    The correct answer is 1. Hard cheeses and firm fruits and vegetables (such as cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots) are the exception to the rule that you shouldn’t eat moldy foods. You can cut off the moldy part (1 inch all around) and safely eat the rest . With all other foods, if you can see mold, it’s likely that the whole piece of food is bad. Don’t take a chance—throw it out, says Stop Foodborne Illness.

  8. As much as you love it, it’s risky to eat raw cake batter or cookie dough.

    Correct Answer: True

    The correct answer is 1. Any foods that contain raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella, so wait until the treat is baked to eat it.

  9. You can leave perishable or cooked foods on the kitchen counter or dining room table for how long?

    Correct Answer: 2 hours

    The correct answer is 2. Two hours is the magic number (and just one hour in summer when the temperature is over 90° F). If you leave cooked and other perishable foods out of the refrigerator for longer than that, in what’s called the temperature danger zone of between 40° F and 140° F, bacteria will multiply. So wait until you’re ready to serve foods before you take them out of the refrigerator or oven, and promptly refrigerate them after eating.

  10. Organic food is no safer to eat than commercially produced food.

    Correct Answer: True

    The correct answer is 1. Sorry, it’s not. Organic food may have lower levels of pesticides and chemicals, but it can be contaminated by animal manure or other pathogens, including E. coli.

  11. It’s OK to use the same meat marinade on cooked and uncooked meat.

    Correct Answer: No

    The correct answer is 2. You should never mix raw and cooked meat products or marinades because the bacteria in the raw marinade can spread to the cooked meat. You can, however, use a raw marinade if you heat it up to a boil first. Also, always marinate raw meat, seafood, and poultry in the refrigerator and not at room temperature to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

  12. Which of the following types of foodborne illness cause symptoms within one to six hours of ingestion of the contaminated food?

    Correct Answer: Staphylococcal food poisoning

    The correct answer is 3. Infection with the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, caused by meats, potato and egg salads, and cream pastries that haven’t been properly refrigerated, produces sudden onset of severe nausea and vomiting.