Is it Safe to Eat Food Past its Best-Before or Use-by Date?
Recently there has been quite a bit in the news about whether it is safe to eat food that has gone past its best-before or use-by date, and even more worrying, food being retrieved from skips and bins to eat. So what are the risks and more importantly, what can you do to save money with food without putting yourself or your family at risk?
The 5 Second Rule: should you eat food if it drops on the floor?
Recent research by has hit the press this week, reported as concluding that bacteria may not transfer quickly to some foods when dropped on the floor, and therefore the 5 second rule may apply. I carried out an experiment and put some special powder on the floor to simulate bacteria, and then dropped some bread on the floor and picked it up immediately. The bread looked fine in daylight (see the left of the image), but under the UV light showed up all the powder that had transferred (right of image) – showing what can be picked up if you drop food on the floor!
In the 1960s I remember my Grandma boiling her kitchen cloths with washing powder on the stove in an ancient pan designated for this purpose. She used a pair of wooden tongs to get them from the pan to the sink where they were rinsed and then put on the drying rack. We could learn a lot from her.
Every day people ask me the question about whether we are too clean. My first answer is that if we were too clean, then 17 million people in this country would not get an infectious intestinal disease every year! 280,000 people suffer from Campylobacter alone, and 300 people a year die from this.
Dr Lisa Ackerley mulls over hygiene in the laundry
I’ve found some people think that no matter how dirty the laundry is, when you shove it in the washing machine, it will come out pristine! But it’s not that easy. Not wanting to be too graphic, but if there are poo or sick deposits on your clothes, nappies, towels or bedding, then where do you think they go?Read more
Recent research by microbiologists at the University of Salford found higher levels of microbes on surfaces in cars than on keyboards and smartphone screens – but conversely a study carried out by Sellcar.co.uk found that most people think their cars are much cleaner than these everyday objects. So what’s the problem?
There are estimated to be 280,000 cases of Campylobacter every year and on average 110 deaths. The Food Standards Agency reckons that this means that around one third of us in the UK will suffer from the disease at some point in our lives. Four out of five cases are associated with chicken.Read more
Campylobacter is still number one when it comes to bacterial food poisoning in the UK. It is estimated that every year around 280,000 people suffer from this disease, and on average there are 110 deaths – which works out at about one every three days.