6 Food Safety Myths

People’s ideas about food safety would be comical if they were not so dangerous. People are frequently myth - led into eating food that is unsafe. In this issue’s column, we explore 6 myths I have heard when teaching people about food safety.

Food Safety Myths

Myth 1: If it smells okay you can eat it.

Fact: Your senses will not help you detect dangerous micro - organisms that are present in food. You cannot smell, taste or see bacteria or viruses that may be in your food. There are 11 million cases of food - borne illness in Canada each year, and I don’t think these poor souls would have eaten food they thought smelled bad. Some people also think that a small taste of the food won’t hurt – but it only takes a few bacteria to make you very sick.

Myth 2: I used hand sanitizer so I don’t need to wash my hands.

Fact: Soap and warm water do a better job of removing layers of germs on your hands. Sanitizer only works on the outermost layer, leaving bacteria behind. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds whenever you are about to prepare food.

Myth 3: Make sure you let food cool on the counter before putting it in the fridge.

Fact: Food left at room temperature creates an optimal environment for bacterial growth. Cut food into smaller pieces and place it in a shallow pan or use an ice bath to cool food quickly,

Myth 4: I can tell when my food is cooked just by looking at or touching it.

Fact: Cooking can help reduce bacteria on food to a safe level – but only if the food is cooked to the proper temperature. Make sure you use a clean, sanitized and calibrated thermometer to check the final cooking temperature of food.

Myth 5: Reheating food that sat out too long will make it safe to eat.

Fact : If food stays at room temperature for more than a couple of hours, some bacteria can produce poisons. Reheating the food may kill bacteria but it cannot get rid of the poison already in the food.

Myth 6: You don’t need to wash produce.

Fact: Produce has been the source of several food - poisoning salmonella outbreaks (fresh produce, i.e. melons, mangoes). Washing the produce helps remove the dirt that may contain dangerous germs. Clean produce under cool running water, cleaning each leaf of leafy greens, and scrub vegetables with a brush. Even fruits with skins that will be removed (like cantaloupe and watermelon) should be scrubbed before cutting. This reduces the chance that germs on the surface will be transferred into the food when it is cut.


Don’t be myth - led! Make sure the food you prepare for yourself, your employees and your customers is safe according to the facts.

100 - 7240 Johnstone Drive | Red Deer, AB T4P 3Y6 | reception@nossack.com | Tel: 403-346-5006 | Fax: 403-343-8066


100 - 7240 Johnstone Drive
Red Deer, AB T4P 3Y6


Tel: 403-346-5006

Fax: 403-343-8066