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Foodsafety.gov sets the record straight:
- Food poisoning actually is a serious illness and could cause long-term complications, even death.
- It's never safe to thaw food on the counter, as bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature.
- Acidic marinades will not kill bacteria.
- Cleaning kitchen surfaces with a moderate bleach solution (1 teaspoon of bleach per quart of water) will kill bacteria. A stronger solution is not needed.
- All fruits and vegetables, even those to be peeled, should be thoroughly rinsed with water, never soap.
- Meat, poultry and seafood should never be rinsed, as this can cause bacteria to splash onto kitchen surfaces.
- When cooking instructions call for letting microwaved food stand for a few minutes, it's not to avoid burning, but to allow food to finish cooking.
- Food can spoil before it smells bad.
- Cooked food needs to be maintained at a warm temperature to prevent bacterial growth.
-- Diana Kohnle
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