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