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Quiz: Food Safety Myths and Facts

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Keep opened maple syrup in the fridge.

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Keep opened maple syrup in the fridge.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Yes, really! Store maple syrup in the fridge to lessen the chances of yeast, bacteria, and mold. It should be good for 6 months to a year. Ketchup and chocolate syrup will stay fresh longer in the fridge, too.

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If you see mold on your bread, just scrape it off.

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If you see mold on your bread, just scrape it off.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It’s tempting to tear off the small piece of bread that’s blue or fuzzy. But if you see mold, throw out the whole loaf. There’s probably more you can’t see. Some are harmless, but others can make you sick. Molds on hard cheeses won’t hurt you, though. It’s OK to it cut off and eat the rest.

Washing raw chicken gets rid of bacteria.

Washing raw chicken gets rid of bacteria.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You’re doing more harm than good when you wash raw chicken or meat. You could splash juices onto your sink, countertop, and other surfaces. That can spread bacteria and raise your chance of food poisoning. Remember, always wash your hands well before and after handling raw food.

Food dropped on the floor is OK to eat if you pick it up within:

Food dropped on the floor is OK to eat if you pick it up within:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

As a kid, the “5-second rule” probably sounded like a good idea. That's a perfectly good piece of candy! But 5 seconds is long enough for food to pick up harmful bacteria. Use the 0-second rule instead: Once something hits the floor, throw it away.

You can drink milk past the date on the carton.

You can drink milk past the date on the carton.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

That's the sell-by date, not an expiration or use-by date. Milk should stay fresh for 5 to 7 more days, as long as you store it promptly and the right way. Head home after buying milk, and put it in the fridge. Make sure the temperature in there stays between 38 and 40 degrees. You can freeze milk, too, but the flavor and texture might change.

How long can you leave leftovers out?

How long can you leave leftovers out?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You don’t have to rush away from the dinner table to put leftovers in the fridge, but don’t wait too long. Store them within 2 hours of cooking. Food served outdoors in hot weather needs to go in a cooler with ice within an hour. Throw away anything that’s been left out longer.

Ground beef that's red on the outside and gray on the inside is:

Ground beef that's red on the outside and gray on the inside is:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If all of your ground beef has turned gray or brown and smells, it might be starting to spoil. But if only the inside is a little dull, grayish brown, you don't need to worry. Fresh-cut meat is purplish and turns bright red when it's around oxygen. The inside of the meat might be grayish-brown because it hasn’t been near the air.

How long can you keep canned veggies?

How long can you keep canned veggies?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most canned vegetables will last a few years, as long as the can is in good shape and has been stored in a cool, dark place. Same for canned meats and fish. Tomatoes, pineapples, and other high-acid foods will keep for 12 to 18 months. Toss any cans that are badly dented, rusty, bulging, or leaking.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen food?

What’s the best way to thaw frozen food?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

One of the riskiest things you can do when cooking is thaw or marinate food on the counter. Bacteria grow quickly at room temperature. The safest place to thaw meat, poultry, and seafood is in the fridge. Put the food on the bottom shelf with a plate or pan to catch any juices that leak. It should be ready to cook the next day. When you're in a hurry, you can thaw food in cold running water, or in the microwave with the defrost setting.

It’s OK for your kid to taste raw cookie dough.

It’s OK for your kid to taste raw cookie dough.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Just a lick can make your child sick. When you bake cookie dough or cake batter, you kill bacteria like salmonella and E. coli . No one should eat raw batter, and that’s especially true for children, older people, and people with weakened immune systems. Don’t take any chances. Wait for the cookies to come out of the oven.

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