WHEN it comes to the subject of food poisoning, there are a number of common misconceptions.
The Food Safety Information Council is looking to address some of the biggest myths about food poisoning and has lifted the lid on six of the most common ones.
Food poisoning is most likely to be caused by the last meal consumed: While most people blame food poisoning on the last meal they ate, food poisoning can take days, or sometimes even weeks to manifest.
You can tell if chicken or minced meat dishes are cooked safely by tasting, or if juices run clear: The only way to know for sure if food is cooked correctly to an internal temperature of 75 degrees is to use a thermometer.
Food poisoning is "just a bit of gastro": Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of food poisoning, but in extreme forms, it can also cause arthritis, kidney or nerve damage and hepatitis. Food poisoning results in 31,921 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors each year.
Risk of food poisoning is low for vegetarians: Fruit and vegetable food items including rockmelon, frozen berries, semi-dried tomatoes, orange juice, salad items and cooking rice have been responsible for food poisoning outbreaks.
Home made mayonnaises and aoilis are better than commercial ones: Home made mayos and aoilis are a major cause of food poisoning outbreaks in Australia. People who wish to make their own should prepare only small amounts and use them immediately. Adding sufficient amounts of vinegar can also stop Salmonella which may be present from growing, but does effect taste. A little sugar can reduce sourness.
If you've defrosted frozen meat or chicken it can't be safely refrozen: It is safe to refreeze meat or chicken as long as it it was defrosted in a fridge running at 5 degrees or lower. Defrosting then refreezing may impact slightly on quality as cells can break down and food can become watery. Cooking defrosted food and dividing into small portions to refreeze once it has stopped steaming is another option.
For more information about food safety, click here.