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Food safety can be confusing, partially because many myths
surround true food safety; it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction. 
Let
us help bust some of the most common to help keep you and your family safe!
Myth: It’s ok to thaw meat on the counter.
Busted: Thawing meat on the counter is
a food safety hazard. The longer food spends at room temperature, the more
bacteria will grow, despite it being frozen. It’s better to the thaw meat in
the refrigerator, microwave or under cold running water.
Myth: I don’t need to rinse fruits or
vegetables if I am going to peel them.
Busted: Bacteria from the outside of a
fruit or vegetable can be transferred to the inside during the peeling or
cutting process. This is also true for foods with a rind, such as melon,
oranges or lemons. Even though you only eat the inside, without rinsing the
items first the outside can still make you sick.
Myth: Leftovers are safe to eat until they
smell or look bad.
Busted: Foodborne illness bacteria don’t
have a look or a smell. This means that even if the food smells tasty, it might
be harboring some nasty germs. Click here to see a table of safe storage times.
Myth: I can tell meat is cooked by the way
it looks.
Busted: The only way to be sure meat is
cooked thoroughly is by checking its internal temperature with a food
thermometer. Chicken and hamburger may look done by the color while they
actually aren’t heated thoroughly enough to kill harmful bacteria. Click here
to see final cook temperatures.
Myth: Rinsing raw chicken or turkey before
cooking it will help rid it of bacteria.
Busted: Rinsing raw chicken doesn’t
rinse away bacteria the same way rinsing fruit does. It actually helps spread
bacteria around the sink, counter tops and other ready-to-eat food.

Know the
myths and keep your food safe to eat! For more information on food safety myths
or concerns, visit foodsafety.gov or call (970) 248-6900.