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food safety mythsA recent study from the University of Florida found that while more than 90 percent of people say food safety is an important issue, many are also making preparation mistakes that could lead to food poisoning, especially when it comes to handling meat. Doug Archer, Ph.D., a food safety expert at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, helps us set the record straight.

 

Meat mistake

The problem

The solution

Nearly 60 percent of respondents believed meat should be rinsed under cold water before cooking.
Rinsing meat can lead to cross-contamination because it causes bacteria—carried by tiny droplets of water—to spread to other areas of the kitchen.
Forgo rinsing and cook poultry to as least 165°F and beef to at least 145°F, which will kill any bacteria.
More than 10 percent of study participants thought it was okay to let meat thaw on the kitchen counter.
If you let meat thaw in the open air, some parts can reach a temperature at which bacteria can grow before the inside portions are fully defrosted. Defrost in the fridge overnight or use the microwave.
Almost 40 percent of respondents said that ground meat will stay fresh in the refrigerator for four to five days.
Meat really only stays fresh for one or two days.
Look for ground meat that has a “freeze by” instead of just a “sell by” date to avoid any confusion.

 

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