Spend enough time in the kitchen and you’ll have your share of mishaps, but some common cooking mistakes could actually be dangerous. Avoid these errors so you don’t compromise your health and safety.
- Your leftovers need to be finished sooner than you think - The shelf life on your leftovers is short, so it’s best to err on the side of caution to avoid food poisoning. According to the government’s food safety protocol, meats should stay in the fridge for only a couple days and meat-free foods, like pizza, need to go after three or four days.
- Washing raw chicken can actually spread germs - USDA spokesperson Marianna Gravely warns that washing raw chicken or other meat can spread potential bacteria to other foods and surfaces through water splatter. But as long as you cook meat to an internal temperature of 165-degrees, you’ll kill any bacteria.
- Leaving the kitchen is a recipe for disaster - The National Fire Protection Association reports that the number one cause of home fires and injuries is unattended cooking. So set a timer and pay attention, especially if you’ve had a couple drinks.
- Eating raw cookie dough can cause more than a stomach ache - It’s so tempting to lick the spoon when making cookies, but eating raw eggs and untreated flour could make you sick if your ingredients are contaminated by salmonella or E. coli.
- Your cloth tote bags might not be as clean as you think - Juices from packages of raw meat can drip and contaminate the packaging and your shopping bag. So make sure you wash your reusable bags frequently so they don’t breed bacteria.
- Wash your hands, especially if you’re using your phone - Tons of us use a mobile device in the kitchen, but most of us aren’t washing our hands after we touch our phones while cooking. Bacteria on our phones and tablets can contaminate our food, so wash up regularly and stay healthy.