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Food Poisoning – Time To Rule Out The 5 Second Rule!

Food Poisoning – Time To Rule Out The 5 Second Rule!

It’s Australian Food Safety Week 8 to 15 November 2015 and while it’s aimed at keeping people safe, we think our companion animals deserve to be provided with bacteria-free food too.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Did you know?’ which is all about busting food safety myths and there’s a fun Quiz you can take to see if you really know the true causes of those agonizing cramps that sent you running to the loo!

For the record, if a food is too old or ‘suspect’ for a human to eat then it’s definitely not ok to feed it to the dog – despite their apparent love of chewing previously buried bones without ill effect.

To whet your appetite (sorry) here’s a sample of the food safety questions AND their answers:

You can tell if food is contaminated because it smells or tastes ‘off’:
a. True
b. False
Correct answer: b. False

You can get food poisoning from food that smells and tastes great. Bacteria can grow quickly in food that has been left in the temperature danger zone between 5°C and 65°C C with no change in the food’s smell or appearance. When food smells “off” it is usually due to spoilage bacteria growing and they may not make you sick.

If you’ve defrosted frozen meat or chicken can it be safely refrozen?
a. Yes
b. No
Correct answer: a) Yes

From a safety point of view it is fine to refreeze defrosted meat or chicken or any frozen food as long as it was defrosted in a fridge running at 5°C or below. You may have lost some quality in defrosting then refreezing as the cells break down a little and the food can become slightly watery. Another option is to cook the defrosted food and then divide into small portions and refreeze once it has stopped steaming.

And my personal favourite:
a. If you drop food on the floor it is ok to eat:
b. If you pick it up before 1 second
c. If you pick it up before 5 seconds
d. If you’ve dropped it on a smoothed tiled surface
e. It’s best not to eat at all
Correct answer: e. It’s best not to eat at all

Bacteria don’t politely wait 5 seconds to contaminate food dropped on the floor. Your floor will be contaminated from dirty shoes, by pets walking through and general day-to-day life. A preliminary UK study found fewer bacteria on carpets than smooth floor surfaces (but you don’t want to end up eating bits of carpet fluff on your food either).

To get the complete quiz with or without answers plus some other great advice to keep you and your favourite pal safe, you can go to:



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