5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Food Safety

How much don’t you know about food safety? Find out.

By Reader's Digest Editors
5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Food Safety© iStockphoto / ThinkstockWhen cleaning with bleach less is more.

How much don’t you know about food safety? Find out…

1. Food poisoning is serious business

If you think food poisoning is little more than a mean 24-hour stomach bug, you’re not alone. You’re also wrong. More than 3,000 people in America alone die from foodborne illnesses each year, and many others suffer ongoing health problems that result from food poisoning.

2. A little bit of bleach kills a lot of bacteria

When it comes to disinfecting your countertops with bleach, less is more. One teaspoon of liquid bleach to one quart of water is all you need. Opt for the unscented kind to avoid unnecessary additives.

3. There’s a reason microwave instructions include “standing time”

Letting food sit for a few minutes after microwaving doesn’t just prevent you from burning yourself—it actually allows the food to cook more thoroughly. Food that’s been microwaved continues cooking after the oven shuts off, so take a pause before grabbing the potholders to avoid eating anything underdone.

4. Produce should always be washed—even if it has a peel

The peel or rind of oranges, lemons, bananas, and other produce inevitably comes in contact with the part you’ll be eating—as do any germs or bacteria it holds. To avoid foodborne illnesses, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water (detergents and soaps can add unsafe chemicals) before preparing or eating.

5. Cooked food isn’t “safe” from bacteria

When food is hot or cold, bacteria can’t survive. But those nasty little organisms love your warm and room temperature leftovers. Serve food while it’s hot and refrigerate anything perishable within two hours of cooking to prevent food poisoning.

Plus: 8 Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness

Source: FoodSafety.gov

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