Lifestyle Health

Monday 23 October 2017

The food mistakes you make put your family at risk

fridge with food
fridge with food

Food safety myths – such as using the 'sniff test' to tell whether food is safe – could be putting families at risk of food poisoning in the home.

Safefood, the all-Ireland body, carried out a myth-busting survey in Northern Ireland which reveals the widespread misconceptions people hold about food storage, general cooking and cleaning habits.

It revealed:

* Two-thirds of people incorrectly believe you can tell whether food is safe by the look or smell.

* Almost half incorrectly believe the 'use by date' is put on foods by retailers so you have to throw them out.

* Two-thirds of people incorrectly believe you need to wash poultry before you cook it.

* Almost half are unaware that cooked rice can't be kept as long as other leftovers.

* One-in-four believes food poisoning is caused by the last thing they've eaten.

* One-in-four incorrectly believes food cooked in the microwave will be safe because the microwave kills any germs.

Dr David McCleery from Safefood said that potentially dangerous germs such as E. coli and salmonella don't always make food smell 'off' and do not affect the appearance of food.

"Instead, we would urge people to stick to the 'use by' date and storage instructions on the packet.

"The Kitchen Check tool aims to dispel the confusion by helping to reassure the consumer that they are handling and preparing foods at home safely by replacing myths with facts."

To download the Kitchen Check tool visit: or

Irish Independent

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