(WWLP) – Forty-eight million Americans get sick from food poisoning each year. And you might be surprised at some common food safety mistakes, because things have changed.
For years, we were told to wash chicken or turkey before cooking it. Now that is our number one mistake. You should never wash meat or poultry. The bacteria-filled water splashes around your sink and counter tops and spreads bacteria around your kitchen. Just open the package of meat or poultry and cook it.
Mistake #2: Smelling and tasting food to see if it is good. You can’t taste, see, or smell the bacteria that causes food poisoning. And tasting just a tiny bit of contaminated food can cause serious illness. You should throw away all expired food before harmful bacteria grows.
Mistake #3: Letting food cool before putting it in the fridge. You can put warm food in the refrigerator to safely cool it. The refrigerator will work to keep it’s inside temperature cold at 40 degrees even with warm food inside.
Don’t leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or one hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees outside.
Bacteria can grow rapidly when perishable foods are left at room temperature. If you are on a road trip, tailgating or picnicking, pack perishable foods in a well-insulated cooler to prevent food poisoning.