6 Surprising Food Safety Tips
Food safety tips that may surprise you
You probably learned some basic food safety tips from your parents or in school. But here are some important rules you may not know about.
- The order you shop in matters: Food safety starts at the grocery store. Pick up frozen and refrigerated items last, then move to checking out.
- Peeling isn’t washing: Even fruits and veggies you peel should be washed before eating, since it’s very easy for bacteria to transfer from the peel to the part you’ll eat.
- Toast flour if you’re not baking it: We all love raw cookie dough, but come to find out, it’s not just the raw eggs that you need to worry about. Raw flour can carry E. coli, among other things, and should only be consumed after it’s been cooked. If you’re making eggless cookie dough to eat with your ice cream, be sure to toast the flour before mixing it in.
- Thaw meat in the fridge when possible, but you can also safely thaw it in cold water or in the microwave. If thawed in water or the microwave, meat should be used immediately.
- All marinating should be done in a covered container in the fridge, not on the countertop. Even acidic marinades can allow bacteria growth at room temperature.
- Your nose is not a reliable tool for testing food safety. Things that cause food poisoning don’t always make things “smell bad.” Refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Safe Storage Times chart instead at: www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html
Find out how to properly store all your perishables to extend their usefulness and keep them safe. Download the USDA’s “FoodKeeper” app for Apple and Android or consult this website: www.foodsafety.gov/keep/foodkeeperapp/