Summer Food Safety FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Take the Summer Food Safety Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
Test your Knowledge!
Q:The refrigerator door is the best place to store eggs, milk, and meat. True or False?
A:False. Eggs, milk, or meat should never be stored in the refrigerator door.
Q:The transfer of harmful bacteria to other items, surfaces, or foods describes what?
A:The transfer of harmful bacteria to other items, surfaces, or foods describes cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria to food from other foods, cutting boards, utensils, etc., if they are not handled properly. This is especially true when handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood, so keep these foods and their juices away from already cooked or ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce.
Q:Should you wash meats before you cook them?
A:No! You should NOT wash meats before cooking.
Q:For how long is raw ground beef safe in the refrigerator?
A:Raw ground beef in the refrigerator is safe for 1 to 2 days. Uncooked hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of these meats are good for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, these foods will maintain their quality for 3 to 4 months.
Q:A "sell by" date on a package is a guide. Food is good for up to 7 days after the "sell by" date. True or False?
A:False. You should not buy a product after the "sell by" date. A "sell-by" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
Q:What is Listeria?
A:Ther term Listeria refers to a group of foodborne bacteria. Listeria, specifically Listeria monocytogenes, is a group of bacteria capable of causing illness including potentially fatal infections in the elderly, newborns, pregnant women, and persons with a weakened immune system. Listeria is a very common bacterium with an unusual trait: It can grow at refrigerator temperatures. And it can build up in food-processing plants, where it can survive for years.
Q:Foodborne illness (food poisoning) is at its highest in the summer. True or False?
A:True. Foodborne illnesses do increase during the summer, and the reasons appear to be twofold.
Q:Most people will get sick within hours of eating contaminated food. True or False?
A:False. People rarely get sick from contaminated food, because most people have healthy immune systems that protect them from harmful bacteria or viruses on food and other harmful organisms in the environment.
Q:What is the main cause of food poisoning?
A:Keeping food at an unsafe temperature is the prime cause of food poisoning. Consider these tips for summer food safety (and year-round):
Q:The best way to tell if meat is thoroughly cooked is by what?
A:The best way to tell if meat is thoroughly cooked is by using a thermometer to determine internal temperature. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown very fast on the outside. Even the most expert griller can't tell when food is done just by looking at it -- or even cutting into it. A meat thermometer gives the best reading, so you won't be stuck with dried out, overcooked meats. You can take foods off the grill when they reach these internal temperatures:
Q:What is the number one food safety mistake in the U.S?
A:Tasting food to determine if it's fit to eat is the number one dangerous food mistake in the U.S.
Q:Is it ever safe to place cooked meat on a plate that held raw meat?
A:No, it is never safe to place cooked meat on a plate that held raw meat. This is the second worst food safety mistake in America.
Q:It is not necessary to wash fruits or vegetables if you're going to peel them. True or False?
A:False. Because it's easy to transfer bacteria from the peel or rind you're cutting to the inside of your fruits and veggies, it's important to wash all produce, even if you plan to peel it.
Q:While shopping for BBQ food items, what should be picked up right before checkout?
A:Cold foods like meat and poultry should be obtained last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags. Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to take a cooler with ice for perishables. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 F (32.2 C).
Source quiz on MedicineNet
Improve your Health I.Q. on Summer Food Safetyback to top ↑
Summer Food Safety Related Slideshowsback to top ↑
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions