Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Quiz: Food safety myths and facts

  1 of  
Current Score:  
slide image

It's fine to cut mould off bread and eat the rest.

slide image

It's fine to cut mould off bread and eat the rest.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Mould on food is a sign of decay. You can recognise it as black or white fur that grows on bread, fruit and vegetables. If you spot mould on bread, don't be tempted to just scrape it off. There could be more hidden below the surface. It's true that some bacteria may be harmless, but others can make you sick and it's not worth the risk. Hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan are dry cheeses and as mould needs moisture to thrive, it normally doesn't grow far beneath the surface, so it's fine to cut off mould and eat the rest.

slide image

Washing raw chicken gets rid of bacteria.

slide image

Washing raw chicken gets rid of bacteria.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's definitely not a good idea to wash chicken before your cook it. The Food Standards Agency says you risk splashing juices and contaminating sinks, work tops and other surfaces with a food bug called campylobacter. This bacteria is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, affecting more than 280,000 people each year and causing more than 100 deaths. Thorough cooking to the correct temperature will kill any bacteria. Always wash your hands well before and after handling raw food.

It's fine to eat food that's dropped on the floor if you pick it up within:

It's fine to eat food that's dropped on the floor if you pick it up within:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The so-called '5-second rule' sounds reasonable in theory. But, in reality, 5 seconds is plenty of time for any food to pick up harmful bacteria. Research involving dropped pizza, apple and toast all showed heavy contamination with germs like E.coli and salmonella, regardless of how long they were in contact with the floor. So, adopt the '0-second rule' and if you drop it, throw it.

You can drink milk after the 'sell-by' date on the container.

You can drink milk after the 'sell-by' date on the container.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Check whether the date on the container is the 'sell-by' date or the 'use by' (expiry) date. If it's the former, milk should stay fresh for 5 to 7 more days, as long as you close it up quickly and put it straight back in the fridge. Also, milk will start to smell and taste sour long before it makes you ill. You can also freeze milk but this may alter the taste and texture.

How long is it safe to leave leftovers out?

How long is it safe to leave leftovers out?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There's no need to cram leftovers into the fridge the moment you finish dishing up. In fact, that can overload the cooling system and affect the optimal temperature in your fridge. Ideally, you should aim to cover and refrigerate leftovers within about 90 minutes of cooking. Splitting up portions can help chill food more effectively and prevent the growth of bacteria. Leftovers should be used within 2 days and reheated until they are piping hot. Never reheat leftovers twice.

If minced beef is red on top but grey inside it's:

If minced beef is red on top but grey inside it's:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Extra care should be taken with mince as it's more perishable than other cuts of meat. Plus, the mincing process can potentially spread any bacteria present throughout the product. If your mince has turned grey or brown and smells, it may be starting to spoil. If the exterior is red and only the inside is a greyish brown, this is normal and you shouldn't worry. The inside of the meat often browns due to lack of oxygen, which isn't necessarily a sign it's gone off. Always eat mince by the 'use by' date on the package.

How long can you keep tinned vegetables?

How long can you keep tinned vegetables?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Check the 'best before' date on the tin if you're in doubt about whether the contents of a tin are safe to eat. Most tinned vegetables will last a few years, but they may lose flavour or texture if the tin is incorrectly stored, so follow directions such as 'store in a cool, dry place'. Do the same for tinned meats and fish. Tomatoes, pineapples and other highly acidic foods will keep for 12 to 18 months. Always get rid of tins that are badly dented, rusty, bulging or leaking.

What's the best way to thaw frozen food?

What's the best way to thaw frozen food?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Failing to defrost food properly is one of the chief causes of food poisoning in the UK. Don't thaw or marinate food on the counter as bacteria grows quickly at room temperature. Freezing food makes bacteria dormant but if it isn't thawed properly, it may not cook through and can cause illness. Always thaw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the fridge and leave it overnight to thaw slowly. Use a plate to catch any leaking juice. If you're in a hurry, food can be thawed in the microwave with the defrost setting. Bear in mind you'll usually need a far longer thawing time for your Christmas turkey.

It's safe for children to taste raw dough.

It's safe for children to taste raw dough.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You may have fond memories of licking the spoon after your mum baked a home-made cake but, it's not recommended. Just one lick can make a child sick. Baking dough or cake mix kills bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Both raw eggs and flour have been known to harbour bacteria and cause illness. No one should eat raw dough, but it's especially risky for children, older people and people with weakened immune systems.

Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
results image

Well done! You're definitely cooking!

Quite good! You played it safe and did well!

Oops. We can smell burning – but clean up your kitchen act and try again!

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
boost your metabolism
Foods to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
sick child
Dos and don'ts for childhood eczema
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know