Food safety myths & facts

Apr 7, 2015, 14:22 IST

It is the World Health Day today and the focus this year is on food safety. We take a look at some rules, facts and myths related to food safety when buying and consuming food, at home or outside.


Washing is always good
Make a habit to wash fruits and vegetables even if you are going to peel them as it’s easy for germs to travel from the peel to the inside. The knife or peeler is a great medium to transport germs from the peel.

Time the leftovers

Do not wait for the leftovers to smell or taste bad. Bacteria starts breeding and multiplying if food is refrigerated for too long even if it doesn’t smell stale.

Cooked food myth
One common belief is that cooked food is bacteria free! False: As the temperature of the cooked food drops, it allows bacteria to thrive. The solution is to keep cooked food warm or reheat it just before serving.

Cut fruits and veggies

It is easy and convenient to buy cut fruits and veggies that are sold at your nearest mall or the local grocery vendor. It might save you 10 minutes of your cooking time, but can harm your health. You don’t know since how long these kept or the water quality used to wash these. Fruits and veggies that are cut and kept for a longer period of time become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

The 5 second rule
The rule is quite old and popular. It says that if you a food item falls on the ground, it is still good to eat if you pick it up within 5 seconds. This is a big myth and works only on a few items. When it comes to foods that have high moisture content (muffin, pastry), the wetness/moisture will help bacteria to multiply, however, this rule may apply to dry items like a chip or a cookie. But since the food will anyways be infected with just the level of contamination deferring between the wet and dry items, isn’t it better to completely chuck what has been dropped?