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University of Nebraska-Lincoln                                Lincoln-Lancaster
Extension in Lancaster County                                County Health Dept.


                   I wish I’d known
                     these things!

 Questions? Email ahenneman1@unl.edu
  Updated June, 2010. This is a peer-reviewed publication.

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10 Safety Myths
Don’t be “myth”-led!

Following are
the facts for 10
common food
safety myths...


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           Myth 1
If it tastes
okay, it’s safe
to eat.




                  4
               Fact 1
Don’t count
on these to
tell you if
a food is            Smell       Taste
safe to eat!


                             Sight
                 5
Estimates of foodborne illnesses
     in the U.S. each year


    76 million people
       become ill

     5,000 people die


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Would this
many people
eat something
if they thought
it tasted,
looked or
smelled bad?



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Even if tasting would tell …
  Why risk getting sick?
             A “tiny taste” may
             not protect you.

             As few as 10 bacteria
             could cause some
             foodborne illnesses,
             such as E. coli!


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           Myth 2
If you get sick
from eating a
food, it was
from the last
food you ate.

                      OOPS!
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              Fact 2

It can take
½ hour to
6 weeks to
become sick
from unsafe
foods.

                10
You usually
feel OK
immediately
after eating
and become
sick later.



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Foodborne illness is
NOT a pretty picture!

                 Hey guys,
                  I have to
                 throw up!




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          Myth 3
The worst that
could happen
to you with a
foodborne
illness is an
upset stomach.



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            Fact 3

Upset stomach
                              Diarrhea
                Fever



                       Dehydration
    OOPS!          (sometimes severe)
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    Less common, but
 possible severe conditions

            Meningitis




Paralysis
               15
                    Death
            Myth 4
If I’ve never been
sick from the
food I prepare,
I don’t need to
worry about
feeding it
to others.


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             Fact 4
Some people have
a greater risk for
foodborne
illnesses.

A food you can            Is the food safe
safely eat might          for everyone at
make others sick.
                              the table?

                     17
 People with a higher risk for
      foodborne illness



Infants
                       Young children and
           Pregnant
                          older adults
            women

          People with weakened immune
          systems and individuals with
          certain chronic diseases
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           Myth 5
People
never
used to
get sick
from
their
food.


             19
           Fact 5

Many incidents
of foodborne
illness went
undetected in
the past.



                 20
 Symptoms of
 nausea, vomiting,
 and diarrhea
 were often, and
 still are, blamed
 on the “flu.”




21
    Foodborne illness vs. flu
More common in            More common in flu:
foodborne illness:
                          Respiratory
Gastrointestinal          Chest discomfort
Nausea                   Cough
Vomiting                 Nasal congestion
Diarrhea                 Sore throat
                          Runny or stuffy nose




                     22
     More reasons for foodborne
     illnesses than in the past ...


Bacteria have
become more
potent over
the years.




                                      23

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       Still more reasons ...
Our food now
travels farther
with more
chances for
contamination.


    In days gone by, the chicken
 served at supper may have been in
       the hen house at noon!
                                     24

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              Myth 6

As long as I left
the lid on a food
that has sat out
too long, it is
safe to eat.




                         25

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          Fact 6
 Though food may be safe after
cooking, it may not be safe later.




Just one bacteria in the food can
      double in 20 minutes!
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    How many bacteria will
 grow from one bacteria left at
room temperature for 7 hours?




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2,097,152!


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Refrigerate
perishable
foods within
two hours at a
refrigerator
temperature of
40°F or lower.




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On a hot day
(90°F or higher),
food should not
sit out for more
than one hour.




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              Myth 7
If you let a food
set out for more
than two hours,
you can make it
safe by heating
it really hot!




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            Fact 7
Some bacteria,
such as
Staphylococcus
(staph),
produce toxins
that are not
destroyed by
high cooking
temperatures.    Image: Content provider: CDC/Matthew J. Arduino, DRPH,
                 Photo credit: Janice Haney Carr




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Did you know
“Staphylococcus”
comes from a Greek
word meaning
“a bunch of grapes?”




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             Myth 8
If a hamburger is
brown in the
middle, it is
cooked to a safe
internal
temperature.



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                          Fact 8
1 out of 4
hamburgers
turns brown
before it has
been cooked
to a safe
internal
temperature.


   http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf

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     Which ground beef patty is cooked
      to a safe internal temperature?




http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf

                                      36
This IS a safely                            This is NOT a
cooked hamburger                            safely cooked
(internal temperature                       hamburger.
of 160ºF) even                              Though brown
though pink inside.                         inside, it is
                                            undercooked.
 http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf

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Research shows
some ground beef
patties look done at
internal
temperatures
as low as 135ºF.
A temperature of
160ºF is needed to
destroy E. coli.

  http://origin-www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf

                                    38
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How to use a food thermometer
1. Wash thermometer
   with hot soapy water
    before and after use.
2. Use before the food
   is expected to be
    “done.”
3. Place in the thickest
   part of the food, not
   touching bone, fat
   or gristle.
4. Compare reading to USDA recommended
   safe minimum internal temperatures.

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   USDA recommended safe
 minimum internal temperatures
Beef, veal, lamb: steaks & roasts - 145°F
Fish: 145°F
Pork: 160°F
Beef, veal, lamb: ground - 160°F
Egg dishes: 160°F
Turkey, chicken & duck: whole,
  pieces & ground - 165°F


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Food thermometers & thin foods
On an “instant-read”
dial thermometer, the
probe must be inserted
in the side of the food
so the entire sensing
area (usually 2-3
inches) is positioned
through the center of
the food.

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Food thermometers & thin foods
When possible, use a
digital thermometer to
measure the
temperature of a thin
food. The sensing
area is only ½- to
1-inch long and easier
to place in the center
of the food.

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  Digital and dial thermometers
           in thin foods
Digital thermometer        Dial thermometer




                           Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Beef Council




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            Myth 9
Meat and
poultry
should be
washed
before
cooking.


              45
             Fact 9

Washing meat and
poultry is NOT
necessary or
recommended.




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Washing increases
the danger of cross-
contamination,
spreading bacteria
present on the
surface of meat
and poultry to:

 ready-to-eat foods
 kitchen utensils
 counter surfaces.

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   Cooking meat and poultry to the
recommended internal temperature will
       make them safe to eat.




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         Myth 10

We should
be scared of
eating almost
everything!


                49
                               Fact 10
“... the American food supply continues to
      be among the safest in the world.”




Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,
Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
       November 15, 2006 http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t061115a.html
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     Proper food
     handling helps
     assure that food
     is safe to eat.

     4 steps to
     follow...


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Remember: When in doubt ...




    TOSS IT OUT!!!
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                          Resources used:
   Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The Food Spoilers: Bacteria and Viruses.
    http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/H/HE-0654 (Accessed June 15, 2010).
   CDC. Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States.
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol5no5/mead.htm (Accessed June 21, 2010).
   Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug
    Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, November 15, 2006.
    http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t061115a.html (Accessed June 21, 2010).
   USDA. “Is it done yet?” http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/IsItDoneYet_Magnet.pdf (Accessed June 21,
    2010).
   USDA. Safe Food Handling – How Temperatures Affect Food.
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/how_temperatures_affect_food/index.asp (Accessed June 15,
    2010).
   USDA. Thermometers are Key. http://origin-
    www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Thermometers_Are_Key_FactSheet.pdf (Accessed June 21, 2010).
   USDA. Why Does USDA Recommend Using a Food Thermometer?
    http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/thermometer.html (Accessed June 21, 2010).
   U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Bad Bug Book: Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and
    Natural Toxins Handbook – Onset, Duration, and Symptoms of Foodborne Illness. Available at
    http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodborneIllness/FoodborneIllnessFoodbornePathogensNatural
    Toxins/BadBugBook/ucm071342.htm (Accessed June 15, 2010).
   Source of images: Microsoft Image and Media Library, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Image Library, CDC image library, original graphics created by UNL Lancaster County Extension
    Office.



                                                 54
 Thank you to the following people
   for reviewing this slide set ...

 Julie Albrecht, Ph.D, R.D.
 Phil Rooney, Ph.D., CP-FS
 Cindy Brison, M.S., R.D.
 Zainab Rida, M.S., R.D.
 Amy Stalp, Dietetic Student
 Vicki Jedlicka, Extension Media Assistant


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                     Know how. Know now.


Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural
Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with
the Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension educational programs
abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of
Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of
Agriculture.




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