Freeze the miso, rinse the chicken? Test your food-safety knowl­edge

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - BONNIE S. BENWICK

We’re thin­ning out what’s in our test kitchen’s cold stor­age to­day, in­spired by talk of #spring­clean­ing. Our job will take a while but here’s a way to make yours a 15-minute task: Do it in stages over the course of a week­end or two. Start with just the crisper draw­ers.

• Those hairy car­rots are fine to eat, al­though it might be bet­ter to peel them rather than just scrub as we typ­i­cally do.

• Limp let­tuce can be re­vived with a soak in icy cold wa­ter.

• Turn that man­gle of tired­look­ing pars­ley and other herbs into pesto.

The ex­er­cise got us think­ing about food stor­age and safety, and it just so hap­pens USDA has launched a new FoodKeeper app, with mo­bile ac­ces­si­bil­ity. Con­sult it as you clean! Or hold off on that just long enough to test your knowl­edge on the topic.

Q: Once opened, jarred horse­rad­ish can be re­frig­er­ated for 12 months.

A: False. It can be re­frig­er­ated for three to four months. Q: Miso can be frozen. A: False. But it can be re­frig­er­ated for up to one year.

Q: Frozen shrimp is good for up to 18 months.

A: True. 12 to 18 months, max (for fresh­ness and best qual­ity).

Q: It’s good/OK to rinse raw meat, poul­try and eggs.

A: False. Rins­ing can spread bac­te­ria to your sink, coun­ter­tops and other kitchen sur­faces.

Q: Wash­ing your hands for 20 sec­onds with soap and run­ning wa­ter elim­i­nates germs.

A: True. So wash up be­fore you han­dle any raw or cooked foods.

Q: Wash­ing pro­duce with soap or de­ter­gent elim­i­nates germs.

A: False. Just clean run­ning wa­ter will do; soaps can linger on foods and may not be safe to eat.

Q: Pre-cut, pre-washed pack­aged greens are safe to eat if they are held above 40 de­grees for more than two hours.

A: False. Bac­te­ria can grow in those con­di­tions.

Q: Pro­cessed cheeses are safe to eat if they are held above 40 de­grees for more than two hours.

A: False.

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