Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Food Safety Facts

I just started receiving Prevention magazine in the mail again (as a freebie) . They had a quiz about food safety. No one wants to get sick from spoiled food!! Here are some of the questions and answers:

Frozen food stays good for as long as it's kept in the freezer.

Foods frozen at 0°F are safe to eat indefinitely, though flavor and texture may change with time, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

If you see a spot of mold on your Cheddar, you can cut it off and eat the rest.

A bit of mold on hard cheeses like Cheddar or Parmesan can be trimmed off, 1 inch around and below the spot (be careful not to touch the mold with your knife to prevent cross contamination). But soft varieties such as Brie or cottage cheese can be affected below the surface, so if you see mold, throw it out.

Rinsing eggs before cracking removes bacteria lurking on the shells.

I thought for sure, you would rinse! I always do, but I was totally wrong! Rinsing eliminates the protective coating added to already sanitized grocery store eggs. The USDA requires that all graded eggs go through this process.

It's best to thaw a frozen chicken breast in the microwave

Microwave thawing is safe but only recommended if you plan to prepare the food immediately it begins the cooking process, which can allow bacteria to grow. Otherwise, let chicken thaw in the fridge. This is good to know in case I forget to take chicken out in the morning from the freezer!!

Leftovers should be frozen or refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking.

Two hours is the maximum time that perishable foods can sit out at room temperature which includes the time they're on the table during your meal.

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