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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

How Safe is your Food?

How Safe is your Food?

1. True or False: Once food is thawed in a refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking.

2. What is a safe internal temperature for cooking meat and poultry?
a. 100º-120ºF
b. 140º-160ºF
c. 200º-220ºF

3. The best place to store canned goods is:
a. In a garage
b. Under the sink
c. In a cool, dry place

4. True or False: Canned meat and poultry are safe to eat for up to 5 years after you purchased them.

5. What causes dark bones in poultry?
a. Young chickens
b. Bruises
c. Spoilage

6. True or False: The safest way to defrost meat is to take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter all night.

7. How long can leftover food be kept out of the refrigerator
before it starts to spoil?
a. 15 minutes
b. Up to 3 hours
c. Up to 2 hours

8. Generally speaking, how long will leftover food remain safe
in the refrigerator?
a. 1 week
b. 3 to 5 days
c. 1 day

9. True or False: Hard-boiled eggs, whether in the shell or not, should be eaten within one week after cooking.

10. True or False: It is not necessary to wash meat or poultry before cooking.

Food Safety Answers
How did you do? For every right answer give yourself 1 point.
Then see where on the safety chart you fall.

1. True. Although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting, food is safe to refreeze. It’s also safe to refreeze something after you’ve cooked it, and to refreeze previously cooked and frozen, then defrosted, food.

2. b. 140-160ºF. Most pathogens are destroyed between 140-160ºF. However, for best quality, meats and poultry require differing temperatures for “doneness.”

3. c. Store cans in a cool, dry place.

4. True. As long as a can remains in good condition and is stored in a cool, clean, dry place, canned meat and poultry can keep at best quality for 2 to 5 years.

5. a. The darkening of bones and the meat around bones occurs mainly in young broiler-fryer chickens, and sometimes freezing can also contribute to the darkening. Darkening is merely an aesthetic issue and not a safety one.

6. False. Food safety experts recommend thawing foods in the refrigerator, microwave oven, or submerging the package (in a watertight plastic bag) in cold water, and changing the water every 30 minutes.

7. c. 2 hours. Hot foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible, but never more than two hours after cooking.

8. b. 3 to 5 days. Generally, leftovers remain safe for three to five days when refrigerated. If in doubt, throw them out.

9. True. After a week, hard-boiled eggs are no longer safe to eat.

10. True. Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking is not recommended. Some consumers think they are removing bacteria from the meat and making it safer; however, any bacteria present on the surface is destroyed by cooking to a temperature of 160ºF.

If your score was:

9 or 10 Congratulations! You’re doing everything very safely, and know food safety
backwards and forwards!

7 or 8 Very good! You know what needs to be done and how to keep food safe.

5 or 6 Pretty good, but you should read more on food safety.

3 or 4 Be warned! Food safety is important. There are a lot of sources out there to
help keep you informed.

1 or 2 Uh oh! You are in danger of being arrested by the food safety police.
Seriously, you should learn more about food safety, so that you and your
friends and family stay healthy.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.