5 Food Safety Myths
At Certified On The Fly, our online Texas Food Handler course focuses on everything you need to know to get your Texas Food Handler Card. Because we want to make our Food Handler course as easy for you as possible, we don’t focus on much else.
But there is a lot of bad information out there about food safety. We’ll keep it out of our course, but we want to make sure you don’t fall prey to it elsewhere. Here are 5 food safety myths you need to be aware of:
When It Comes To Food Poisoning, You Mostly Just Need To Worry About Meat
Surely no one who even occasionally peruses the headlines believes this one anymore. E. coli and salmonella are just two of the food poisoning titans in recent outbreaks from vegetables. While fresh produce of any kind are a big risk for these bacteria, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, celery, and tomatoes have all been implicated. The safest bet is to cook vegetables, but when that’s not feasible, they must be (1) kept chilled, (2) kept separate from meats at all times, and (3) thoroughly rinsed before serving.
Food Directly From The Freezer Can’t Be Contaminated
The process of freezing does not kill bacteria. Bacteria enter a dormant state when frozen, but it is still fully alive and will become active again in less frigid temperatures. Food that was contaminated before it was placed in the freezer will remain contaminated when it is defrosted and thawed. If harmful bacteria are present, the only thing that will kill them is cooking the food to the proper temperature and then keeping it at the proper temperature until it is consumed.
Hand Sanitizer Is Just As Good At Eliminating Germs As Washing With Soap And Water
For certain kinds of germs, soap and water are simply better. While hand sanitizer is a solid second place if you can’t access soap and water, you can always access soap and water while working in food service. Even for the germs, it does kill, hand sanitizer is prone to user error. (Did you know it must be at least 60% alcohol? Did you know there is a method to its application?) Hand sanitizer also will not remove chemicals like pesticides on fruits and vegetables, and it will not remove actual grime or dirt. As a food service professional, you should never need to stoop to hand sanitizer.
I’m Wearing Gloves, So I’m All Good
There’s nothing magical about gloves. Touching your gloved hands to contaminated surfaces will contaminate your gloves just the same as it would contaminate your hands. When wearing gloves, you need to take all the exact same precautions. That means no handling anything that could have come in contact with raw meat, no touching your face or other parts of the body, and no touching other germ-infested surfaces. If the gloves do touch something they shouldn’t, you have to change them immediately, just like you would have to wash your hands if your hands touched something they shouldn’t.
I Work In The Back, So It’s Not As Big A Deal If I Come In Feeling A Little Sick
You may think because you don’t interact directly with customers it’s no biggie, but you actually do something far more important – you interact directly with what customers are ingesting. That means if you work in the back and you come in sick, you could get far more customers sick than wait staff can. You come in contact with food being served throughout your establishment, not just a limited area of tables. If you have vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or other troubling symptoms, don’t risk getting hundreds of people sick. Having to pick up more hours later is far better than having no customers due to a widespread outbreak linked to your establishment.
Luckily, you don’t need to know myths to get your Texas Food Handler certificate, you only need to know food safety facts. Everything you need to know to be a safe and responsible food handler is in our online course. That’s why Certified On The Fly is one of the largest, most trusted providers of online Food Handler certification in Texas. Sign up today!Back to Blog