Signs that Food is Unsafe to Eat
Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2016 at 3:11 pm
Do you know how to tell when food is unsafe to eat? It’s important to recognize the signs. Ideally, you want to consume all of your groceries before they go bad. Doing so is a good way to avoid food poisoning, and to save money. Food that you had to throw away is a waste of money.
4 Signs that Food Should be Thrown Away
Throw Away the Green Potatoes
It is highly unlikely that a green potato will make it into the produce section of your local grocery store. That being said, it is possible to find a potato that has green colored skin, green sprouts, or greenish eyes. Or, a potato that looked good at the store may have become green after it sat in your home for a while.
Snopes points out that solanine develops in potatoes when they are subjected to light or very cold or very warm temperatures. Solanine, when consumed in large quantities, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and central nervous system paralysis. Long story short, don’t eat the green potatoes.
Don’t Eat Moldy Food
You paid good money for that food, but it sat too long and has grown mold. Some people believe that it is ok to cut off the moldy part and eat the rest. Don’t do that!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out that the mold you see on food is just the “tip of the iceberg”. The little bit of mold you see on the surface of a food means that “root” threads of mold have infested the entire food. Some molds are dangerous, and some can be poisonous.
Don’t buy the foods at the grocery store that have visible mold. Throw away the moldy food that you find in your refrigerator, pantry, or counter.
Be Careful About Food Temperature
The FDA points out that when food gets between 40°F and 140°F is in the “danger zone”. This is the temperature range in which bacteria in food can multiply rapidly and lead to food borne illness.
If the food from your picnic, backyard barbecue, or outdoor party has been sitting outside for more than 2 hours (or more than 1 hour when the weather is hot), it may be unsafe to eat. You should throw it away before anyone gets sick from it.
Bad Smells Mean Bad Food
Sometimes, your nose can tell you when food is unsafe to eat. If it smells bad – it means that the food has gone bad. ABC News points out the “rule of four”. Catherine Donnelly, professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Vermont says leftovers must be kept “no more than four days at 40°F or 4°C”.