In this fast moving world, we often find ourselves with very limited time to spend on things that matter. This is one of the reasons there are experts in various fields, who train themselves all their lives to make our lives easier. According to food safety experts, there are certain foods they would never eat. Some of the things on the list were obvious and some were quite surprising. You’ll be surprised at which of your favorite foods made the list.
1. Salad bars
Salad bars seem like a healthy choice, especially when all the different kinds of greens are placed in an orderly fashion to satisfy our cravings. However, when you think about it, the greens are left out in the open, indefinitely, and most of them are stored at the improper temperature. This means that the improper storage allows veggies to ripen as well as become contaminated. So, next time you are at the salad bar, make sure to check whether they are being properly stored.
2. Precut fruit
Most all-you-can-eat places have those precut fruits that are displayed in bite sized pieces to appease visitors. They might seem pretty but in reality, they can become contaminated if they are not prepared properly. Like veggies, fruits also ripen if they are not stored at the proper temperature. According to food experts, produce such as outer skin of melons and oranges are capable of holding on to bacteria really well. So, if they are not properly washed and sanitized during preparation, they are contaminated and can contaminate the surrounding fruits.
Over the years, regulations regarding how foods should be properly handled, prepared or served, have surely become stricter. However, at places where buffets are common, it’s easy for food to be mishandled, especially when customers have the ability to serve themselves. When a person with unclean hands touches serving utensils, and those utensils manage to slide down into a serving dish, that food becomes contaminated. Some people also have the habit of taking their dirty plates back to the buffet to serve themselves. During this process, it’s not that hard for the serving utensils to touch the dirty plate.
4. Sliced lemons
Restaurants have their way to make their foods and drinks look fancy, allowing them to charge double the original price. One such method includes placing a piece of lemon on beverages such as soda, tea and water. If you enjoy having pieces of lemon in your drinks, you should really refrain from the habit. Food experts reveal that the lemon can be extremely contaminated since they are precut and are left out in the open until used. Also, you have no clue as to what kind of a person handled the lemon and if they washed their hands before they sliced it.
Sushi is one of the most popular foods in Japan as well as the US. Every year, Americans consume over $2 billion worth of sushi from over 4,000 sushi restaurants spanned across the country. While sushi is relatively safe, it is important that you check the source of the food. When fish is improperly stored and handled, it can become contaminated, allowing several types of bacteria to thrive on it.
6. Raw milk or raw milk cheese
Unpasteurized milk products, including cheese, have been gaining popularity throughout the last few years. Many food safety regulations in the US prohibit the sales of unpasteurized products since they can be unsafe. According to food experts, it’s best to not take a chance when it comes to food products and better to be safe by consuming pasteurized milk products. To put thing simple, it just isn’t worth the risk!
7. Meal kits
Meal kits are extremely popular among those who workout every day. Companies selling these kits advertise that their product offers incredibly delicious options which also helps with the workout regiment. While it sounds promising, experts suggest we check the safety of such services before using them. For instance, what measures are being taken to ensure that the food is not being contaminated during the shipping process and whether they are being shipped at safe temperatures.
8. Food samples
While retailers are required to follow proper food safety and sanitation regulations, it does not mean that your fellow shoppers would follow the same rules. For instance, even if a free sample is covered by a bin, people would take a sample and leave the bin open. Safety experts also say that they have seen many customers take a sample and decide that they are not interested, thus returning the sample. During this process, if the customer did not use proper utensils to take food, then he/she could have contaminated the entire batch.
9. Preserved foods
Homemade preserved foods might seem like an ideal gift for your loved ones, but the truth is that they are made using unconventional recipes. Most people use their own recipes and don’t follow recipes that have been tested for safety (in terms of acid levels, processing time, pressure if applicable). If not prepared according to the standards, they can be contaminated.
10. Flawed canned goods
Most canned foods have a shelf life of 3 to 6 years if properly stored. However, if they are dented, rusted and/or bulging, that time frame is practically zero. Canned foods are processed at high temperatures to remove any possible contamination and then vacuum sealed to keep air out, which is what provides it with the long shelf life. However, when the can becomes compromised, so does the food inside. So, before you buy canned food, it’s best to check and make sure that the cans are intact.