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Everyone loves food, especially if they look and taste good. However, it isn't just the food presentation and its taste that matters. Food safety should also become a top priority since consuming contaminated food may lead to food poisoning which we all know is never fun.

Food Myths

Certain food myths regarding food safety have been a part of some family tradition. But are these true? Let's see the real deal before we fall right into their traps.

  1. MYTH: It's safe to eat leftovers for as long as they look and smell okay.

Certain food myths regarding food safety have been a part of some family tradition. But are these true? Let's see the real deal before we fall right into their traps.

Okay, here's the catch - you have to bear in mind that not everything that looks and smells good is edible. Bacteria, which has different types, don't always make themselves visible. While there are good bacteria, there are also those that cause illness in people. But since most of them may not be detected the moment you see or smell food, it's better to keep food frozen or perhaps, toss them away after 3-4 days.

However, at times when we're too preoccupied, we tend to forget how long the food had been sitting in the fridge. Well, we're after the safety here, aren't we? So make sure not to take the risk and remember - when in doubt, better throw it out!

  1. MYTH: Food that's warm or hot should not be placed in the fridge.

Actually, food that is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours is the BIG NO NO. Food that's warm or hot may be placed in the fridge. Well, if they're in large amounts, they may be placed in small shallow containers. For perishable food, keep them in the fridge within 2 hours of preparation at 40 degrees or below. If the temperature in the room or outdoors is quite high, make sure that food gets refrigerated right away or throw them away in an hour's time.

  1. MYTH: Heating food in the microwave kills bacteria.

If you're fond of heating food in the microwave, you probably have noticed at some point that it still leaves some cold spots. This is a sign that microwaves don't kill bacteria. It's the heat generated by the device that kills bacteria in food. So even when you use your pot and turn the stove on to heat a leftover, it would also work the same.

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However, microwave ovens are great time savers. They'll kill bacteria in food too for as long as you set it to a safe internal temperature. However, microwaves may tend to heat food unevenly as they may also vary in size or thickness. This is when cold spots are left, and harmful bacteria may survive.

  1. MYTH: Plastic or glass cutting boards are bacteria-free than wood.

No cutting board is exempted from holding harmful bacteria from either side. While plastic or glass cutting boards do not easily develop hard-to-clean grooves, it doesn't mean they're not receptive to sickness causing bacteria. They still have to be washed and sanitized properly. Make sure to disregard any cutting board that has become excessively worn.

  1. MYTH: Bagged lettuce and greens should always be washed.

We may want to make sure that what we're eating are clean. However, when these packed greens come with labels "Ready to Eat" or "Triple Washed," you may no longer have to bother. But you should be aware that there are chances of contamination if these pre-washed greens have to undergo another re-washing. They've already gone through a proper cleaning process, so you need not worry. Most fresh fruits and vegetables bagged or not are the ones needing to be thoroughly washed.

  1. MYTH: All local, organic, or natural food is safe.

While these types of food are exposed to fewer pesticides, fertilizers, and fossil fuels, that does not assure us of zero harmful bacteria, particularly during their growth and harvest processes. Distributors should ensure good sanitary practices from Day 1 until harvest and product disposal to markets to avoid food contamination. Proper handling, washing, and cooking are still definitely expected from consumers.

You're either smiling or frowning right now because you probably have found these familiar, or perhaps you are thinking of what to do next. If you want to have your groceries delivered, that will still be fine. Just make sure that you entrust these services to those that have proven their value to food safety for all its consumers. You can't just fall into any mythical trap. You're better sure and safe than sorry.

Dylan Moran