Food hygiene myths

Food hygiene myths

Posted on Nov 02, 2016

Food hygiene myths


Following on from our recent health and safety myths blog (if you missed it – you can find it here), we decided to look into some of the more common myths when it comes to food safety and food hygiene.

Some you may already know, and some may be new to you, so without any further ado, let’s begin our countdown!


10 - You need to wash raw chicken before you cook it

Most raw meat will have some germs on it, and washing won't actually get rid of them. In fact, washing the raw meat is likely to spread even more germs around the kitchen. Little splashes of water can contaminate you, your worktops and anything else in the way. Cooking the meat thoroughly and properly is the only way to get rid of all these nasty germs.


9 - The only reason to let food sit after it’s been microwaved is to make sure you don’t burn yourself

Close, but no banana! Letting microwaved food sit for a few minutes – also known as it’s “standing time” – helps your food cook more completely by allowing the colder areas of food time to absorb heat from hotter areas of food. This gives you an evenly heated dish.


8 - Cooked rice can be kept for as long as the other leftovers from my Chinese takeaway

Leftover, cooked rice is fine to eat as long as it gets cooled and refrigerated quickly after cooking (or delivery), and it must be eaten within 24 hours. This is because rice can contain a particularly tough type of bacteria, commonly known as bacillus cereus… and it’s a cereus-ly tough bacteria that can even survive heating. Most other leftovers are safe to eat up to two days after cooking, but the rice... best not chance it.


7 - The more bleach the better!

There is actually no advantage to using more bleach than needed, in actual fact, you’ll just be wasting product! To clean kitchen surfaces effectively, use just one teaspoon of bleach to one quart of water… that’s one teaspoon to 2 pints of water for those of us who had no idea what a ‘quart’ was, and ta-da! Clean, safe surfaces with no wastage.


6 - If you have a… er… 'dodgy' stomach it's usually from the last thing you ate

It's a natural instinct to suspect the thing you ate most recently is the cause of your food poisoning, but that isn't always the case. Symptoms can usually take between one and three days to develop, so it won't necessarily be the burger you just scoffed.


5 - If food smells ok and looks ok, it's safe to eat

Big no! Although a bad smell or taste can be a sign that food has passed its best and 'gone off', these signs often aren't caused by the same germs that give you food poisoning. So the food's appearance, smell or taste aren't reliable warning signs. Be safe and not sorry by sticking to the 'use by' date and any storage instructions on the packaging.


4 - Plastic chopping boards are much more hygienic than wooden ones

There’s no strong evidence that suggests one type of chopping board is more or less hygienic than another, whether plastic, wooden, marble or even glass. What is important is that the board gets cleaned properly after every use and is replaced if it gets damaged, for example from scoring or deep cuts.


3 - Marinades are acidic, which kills bacteria, so it’s OK to marinate foods on the counter

Refrain! Even in the presence of acidic marinade, bacteria can grow very rapidly at room temperatures – so it’s always best to marinate foods in the fridge where the bacteria cannot grow, but the flavour can!


2 - Rare steak is not ok

Steak is safe, and some may say more delicious eaten rare as long as the outside is brown. Whole cuts of beef and lamb, such as steaks, joints and cutlets only have germs on the outside, so as long as the outside is fully cooked, any germs will be killed


1 - Making sure the fridge is fully stocked will help keep everything cooler

False! Overloading your fridge will reduce airflow between the item, and your poor fridge will have to work much harder to keep the contents cold.

Between 5ºC and 60ºC food poisoning bacteria start to multiply so it can be dangerous if your fridge does not keep food below 5ºC. 



Avoid food poisoning

It can be hard to change habits, but it’s important to stay safe, ‘scrub up’ on your knowledge and ensure you and your staff are correctly trained.

flick’s amazing food hygiene course is included in our subscription (alongside over 30 other courses) – it’s stylish cook-book theme is like no other and even includes fantastic interactivity to keep your staff engaged! Don’t delay, sign up today and rest easy knowing you and your staff are up to date.



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