There are lots of myths and misconceptions around about food safety, and unless you’ve been on a food hygiene training course, you may end up believing them. Here are a couple of the most commonly believed busted:
• The ‘5 second rule’
Many homes have different versions of this rule, which follows that an item of food is still ok to consume if dropped on the floor but picked up within a certain number of seconds. Worryingly, some businesses may use this rule too. People believe that harmful bacteria cannot possibly get onto the food in as short a time as five seconds, but this just isn’t true. Research has shown that E.coli and other bacteria can transfer from floor to food in under five seconds. So, if something falls on the floor – throw it away!
• The ‘sniff test’
Whilst touch and smell can help you to work out whether an item of food has gone off, it really isn’t a rule that individuals, and definitely not professional kitchens, should be using to check whether food is safe to consume. Food that is dangerous to eat can sometimes look and smell fine, so the only way to tell is using ‘use by’ dates or labelling systems.