Thursday, October 28, 2010

Myth: If I leave food sitting on the counter for too long, it will be safe if I reheat it to very hot temperatures.

Answer: Busted!

holiday mealWhile some bacteria can be killed by temperatures above 140° F, other bacteria such as staphylococcus (Staph) release toxins (poisons) into the food. These toxins cannot be destroyed by high cooking temperatures and are capable of making you and your family very sick. Unfortunately, if food is left on the counter for longer than 2 hours, it is no longer safe to eat and needs to be thrown out.

As the holidays are almost upon us, remember this and other simple food safety rules to keep harmful bacteria off the holiday menu.

Visit the MissouriFamilies website for more information about food safety.

Contributor: Mary Wissmann, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension,

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