September is National Food Safety Education Month. Take our quiz to test
your knowledge of safe food-handling practices and the best ways to fight
1. Which is NOT a recommended way to thaw frozen food?
a. In a plastic bag submerged in cold water
b. On the counter
c. In a microwave
d. In the refrigerator
2. What is considered the safe internal temperature of cooked ground beef?
a. 155 degrees
b. 160 degrees
c. 165 degrees
d. 170 degrees
3. What temperature range is considered the "danger zone" for
bacterial growth in foods?
a. 100 to 200 degrees
b. 50 to 90 degrees
c. 40 to 140 degrees
d. 80 to 130 degrees
4. True or false: Fruits you peel don't need to be washed before eating.
5. You ordered pizza for dinner and put the leftovers in the fridge. How
long can it stay in there before it needs to be eaten?
a. Two days
b. Three days
c. Four days
d. Five days
6. True or false: When it comes to food safety, how you bag your food at
the grocery store matters.
7. How long should you wash your hands before and after preparing food?
a. Five seconds
b. 10 seconds
c. 15 seconds
d. 20 seconds
8. True or false: You should devote one cutting board to raw proteins (meats,
seafood, poultry) and another to fruits and vegetables.
9. Improper food handling can lead to food poisoning. How many food-borne
illnesses are there in America each year?
a. 12 million
b. 24 million
c. 36 million
d. 48 million
1. Answer: b. Letting food sit out on the counter at room temperature to
thaw can lead to rapid growth of harmful bacteria.
2. Answer: b. 160 degrees. That's the same ideal temperature of most
ground meats except for chicken and turkey, which, like all forms of poultry,
should be cooked to 165 degrees.
3. Answer: c. 40 to 140 degrees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states
that the number of bacteria in food can double in as little 20 minutes
if it's in the danger zone. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot,
and once food has been served, leftovers should be refrigerated in less
than two hours (or one hour if the weather is 90 degrees or above).
4. Answer: False. Peeled fruits should be washed before eating because
the rind or skin may harbor bacteria. Peel an orange with your hands and
then eat the fruit by hand, and that can spread the bacteria. The same
goes if you cut through the peel with a knife into the fruit.
5. Answer: c. Four days is the maximum for all leftovers, as recommended
by the USDA. When reheating leftovers, the internal temperature of the
food should reach 165 degrees.
6. Answer: True. Any kind of raw meat, seafood or poultry should be bagged
separately from other foods, in case the juices leak out of the packaging;
they can also be bagged in plastic for an extra layer of protection (especially
nice if you don't want raw meat juice to spill in your reusable grocery
bag). Eggs should also be isolated in case they break and contaminate
your other groceries.
7. Answer: d. Wash your hands 20 seconds before and after preparing food.
And don't forget the hot water and soap--you need both to kill germs
8. Answer: True. Doing so helps avoid cross-contamination.
9. Answer: d. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
there are 48 million food-borne illnesses in America each year that result
in 3,000 deaths and 128,000 hospitalizations.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.