MYTH: Putting chicken in a colander and rinsing it with water will remove bacteria like Salmonella.
FACT: Rinsing chicken in a colander will not remove bacteria. In fact, it can spread raw chicken juices around your sink, onto your counter tops, and onto ready-to-eat foods. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry can only be killed when cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature, which for poultry is 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer. Save yourself the messiness of rinsing raw poultry. It is not a safety step and can cause cross-contamination! Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food.
MYTH: I don’t need to clean the refrigerator produce bin because I only put fruit and vegetables in there.
FACT: Naturally occurring bacteria in fresh fruits and vegetables can cause cross-contamination in your refrigerator. A recent NSF International study found that the refrigerator produce compartment was one of the “germiest” area in consumers’ kitchens. To prevent the buildup of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, it is essential to clean your produce bin and other bins in your refrigerator often with hot water and liquid soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a clean cloth towel or allow to air dry outside of the refrigerator.
MYTH: Once a hamburger turns brown in the middle, it is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
FACT: You cannot use visual cues to determine whether food has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. The ONLY way to know that food has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature is to use a food thermometer. Ground meat should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F, as measured by a food thermometer.
For more FIGHT BAC myth busters regarding home food safety, go to http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/home-food-safety-mythbusters/top-10-myths/