A lot of our food habits are based around the idea of a healthy experience. We all know to wash our hands before we eat, right? But there are some food safety mistakes we sometimes tend to ignore, even though we shouldn’t.
The rules for eating in order to keep ourselves healthy are repeated over and over during our childhoods. Of course, our parents want us to be as healthy as possible and maybe have as few visits to the ER as they can. But sometimes, when we go out into the world on our own, we start to slip a little. We enjoy having the freedom to do whatever we want and we let go of the rules out of a pure sense of rebellion.
We feel like these things are not that serious and it won’t hurt us if we have some street food with unclean hands or eat something off the floor as long as it’s been there for the appropriate amount of time. Ready for a very stupid ‘5-second rule’ joke that I unabashedly adore?
BACTERIA 1: [runs toward pizza that has just been dropped on the floor]
BACTERIA 2: [football tackles him to the ground] YOU HAVE TO WAIT FIVE SECONDS SEBASTIAN
— Abbie (@AbbieEvansXO) December 5, 2017
Please don’t stop reading the article because of my sense of humor. So, let’s move on quickly and see what food safety mistakes you might be making.
5 food safety mistakes to be aware of and let go
1. Eating last night’s pizza for breakfast
Who among us hasn’t done this? You order a whole pizza and then you end up having the two leftover slices for breakfast. And that happens after leaving the pizza out all night. Well, you really shouldn’t to that. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) recommends that no food that has been left out for more than two hours should be eaten. So why would we think that a box of pizza is different? Bacteria can still grow on your olives and salami. So just put the pizza in the refrigerator, for safety’s sake.
2. The 5-second rule
Since I added that jokey tweet earlier, let’s talk about the 5-second rule seriously for a few moments. Donald Schaffner, a food science professor at Rutgers University, tested this rule out. The bottom line? The more time the food stays on the floor, the more bacteria it accumulates, so that part seems to be true. But, honestly, no matter how long it stayed there, your food will still accumulate some bacteria and be a little risky for consumption.
3. Not washing your fruit and veggies
This should be a no-brainer, but let’s face it: we all probably took some fruit with us on a hiking trip and ate an apple while watching a gorgeous sunset, not being too worried about not washing this one fruit this one time. Still! Trust us, it can be dangerous.
Or say that you’re cutting into a fruit whose skin you’ll know you’ll get rid of, so you don’t feel the need to wash it. Think again! Because the knife that pierces said skin touches the outer layer of the fruit or veggie and traces it with it to the insides of the produce. So, run everything under cool water. if you’re out in nature, then use your water bottle.
4. You grill the meat and put it back on the same plate
This is something that happens way too often. I used to do this, too. Or maybe I rinsed the plate a little. But even that is not enough. The cooked meat should not end up on the same plate the raw meat was on. Because some of those meats contain pathogens and they can easily transfer from the meat juice to the grilled steak.
And you should know that the origin of the meat is irrelevant in this case. There’re bacteria everywhere.
5. You eat the cheese after removing the mold
This mistake sort of makes sense, too. Don’t all of these food safety mistakes, after all? Especially since there are moldy cheeses you can buy and eat without trouble. But most cheeses that form molds shouldn’t really be eaten anymore. You can only remove the mold – and just a bit more of the cheese around it to make sure you’re as safe as possible – off hard cheeses. They’re the only ones who are still good to eat.