Six common food poisoning myths

The Food Safety Information Council has published the six common food poisoning myths. Read on to view them.

If I get food poisoning it is most likely the last meal I ate.

Not true. Food poisoning can eventuate days or weeks later.

You can tell if chicken or minced meat dishes are cooked safely by tasting or if the juices run clear.

Not true. Always use a thermometer to check minced meat is cooked with an internal temperature of 75C.

Food poisoning is mild and just a bit of gastro.

People can become extremely ill from food poisoning. Each year food poisoning results in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors.

If you are a vegetarian, your risk of food poisoning is low.

Some of our most recent outbreaks of Listeria have come from fruit – cantaloupe, mushrooms, and others.

Home made mayonnaises and aoili’s are better than the commercial ones.

These are a major cause of food poisoning. If you wish to make your own mayonnaise and aoli, prepare small amounts and use immediately. Adding enough vinegar can also stop any Salmonella that may be present from growing – it does affect the taste, but it makes the product safe. A touch of sugar can reduce the sourness.

If you’ve defrosted frozen meat or chicken it can’t be safely refrozen.

This is OK as long as it was defrosted in a fridge below 5C or below, and not on the bench. You may have lost some quality in defrosting then refreezing as the cells break down a little and the food can become slightly watery. Another option is to cook the defrosted food and then divide into small portions and refreeze once it has stopped steaming.

Of course keeping up to date with your food safety knowledge and training will also help prevent food poisoning outbreaks.

For more information visit Food Safety Information Council here.

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