We sometimes take chances with the food in our kitchens. Seventy-five million Americans get food poisoning a year. Most cases are mild–a day or two of an upset stomach. It’s deadly at its worst. Experts say that poor food-handling practices at home cause most food poisoning. Is your kitchen safe? Do you know when it’s safe to eat a food? Take this quiz and find out!
Is it safe or risky to eat…
1) Mustard or ketchup with a black, crusty ring around the rim of the jar?
2) Produce which has come in contact with poultry drippings in the refrigerator?
3) Cut potatoes with a green tinge on the edges?
4) Refrigerated meat that smells okay?
5) Moldy or shriveled peanuts?
6) A bruised or moldy piece of fruit?
7) Cooked meatloaf, hamburger or meatballs which is pink in the middle?
8 ) Meat cut on a wooden cutting board?
Katrina is learning food safety from her mom.
9) Pre-washed organic produce that you didn’t rinse again yourself?
10) Leftovers eaten or frozen at a week.
11) Use the same towel to dry dishes and your hands.
12) Mayonnaise for up to two months after opening it.
1–SAFE–The ring is the result of an interaction of the contents with air. It’s not a sign of spoilage.
2–RISKY–Uncooked poultry juices may contain harmful bacteria. When uncooked produce such as lettuce is washed and then eaten the bacteria may still be present. It’s best to throw away the portion, which was saturated with the poultry juice.
3–RISKY–Green-tinged potato skins contain solanine, which can cause gastrointestinal illness. If you use potatoes with green portions, cut away the portion that is green.
4–SAFE–The rule of thumb is to use ground beef within two days of refrigeration. RISKY: Don’t use it if it doesn’t smell “right” or was left unrefrigerated. But don’t go by smell alone. Most of disease-causing bacteria in food have no odor. Don’t keep meat for more than two days in the refrigerator without freezing.
5–RISKY–The molds that typically grow on peanuts, rice and corn also produce potent toxins. If mold develops on rice, corn or products that contain these grains, such as cornmeal, flours, mixes, and cereals, toss away the entire box. Also, discard shriveled peanuts.
6–SAFE–If it’s just bruised. It might be RISKY if it has become moldy. The best option is to cut away the moldy portion. This will remove any potential toxins in the mold.
7–RISKY–Ground meat should be cooked to 160 degrees. Most times it will appear brown in color. But not always, so check the temperature with a meat thermometer.
8–SAFE–A wooden cutting board is as safe as a plastic one. Best is to have two boards; one for meat and the other for produce.
9–RISKY–All produce needs to be rinsed under cold running water. Just because it’s grown without pesticides doesn’t mean it’s any less likely to be exposed to microbes. A Consumer Reports study found that nearly 40 percent of pre-washed salads sold in plastic bags or plastic clam-shells were contaminated with bacteria that could be harmful to your health.
10–RISKY–More than 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator gives bacteria an opportunity to grow.
11–RISKY–Drying dishes and wiping your hands with the same towel can spread germs to clean dishes. (Okay, I admit sometimes I do this myself. There is room for improvement in every kitchen!)
12–SAFE–You can keep an opened jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator for (some say) as long as a year. (I don’t think I’d eat from a jar that has been opened for a year. At least you don’t have to worry if you’ve had a jar of mayonnaise opened for a couple of months in your refrigerator!)
Despite your best efforts, someone in your family may get food poisoning. Click Here for home remedies.