Ensure your food is safe to eat
By Gwen Schoen
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
By Gwen Schoen
While it's not truly a nutrition topic, knowing basic food safety is important when it comes to preparing meals. Answer the following statements true or false.
1. Squeezing a loaf of bread can indicate freshness.
2. Bread mold is harmless; just brush it off or tear off the mold before you eat it.
3. Store-bought luncheon meats should be eaten within 10 days of the use-by date on the package.
4. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cottage cheese should be used within seven days of the sell-by date on the package.
5. Cheese with mold is OK, just cut off the mold.
6. Leftovers brought home from a restaurant, but left in the car overnight, are safe to eat.
7. If something smells OK, it is safe to eat.
8. Frozen food should be used within three months.
9. Dented cans should be discarded.
10. Eggs should be used within three weeks.
11. If your dog eats it, it's safe to eat.
Answers: 1) True; 2) False; 3) True; 4) True; 5) False. Mold-ripened cheese such as blue cheese is OK. Other cheeses with mold, such as Jack or cheddar, should be discarded. 6) Sometimes. Items that are normally served or eaten chilled, such as custard pie, should be discarded. Items normally eaten at room temperature, such as bread, are safe to eat. 7) False. Some spoiled foods smell just fine. 8) True. However, it is a matter of quality rather than safety. After three months, frozen food can become dry and lose flavor. 9) False. If the can is not leaking, it is safe to use. However, if the can appears to be bulging from pressure inside the can, it is not safe to use. 10) True. Again, it's more a matter of quality than safety. When properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. 11) False. Dogs don't care about food safety.