Biggest Food Safety Mistakes Made by College Students | STACK
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...

Biggest Food Safety Mistakes Made by College Students

April 9, 2013 | Kait Fortunato

Must See Nutrition Videos

STACK Performance Nutrition: Best Sources of Carbs for Athletes

STACK Performance Nutrition: How to Refuel After Exercise

STACK Performance Nutrition: Build A Better Plate

It's not easy to get started becoming independent in college, especially in the kitchen. Learning to prepare your own meals, do the grocery shopping, and reheat leftovers can be a challenge. You need to spend just as much time learning about food safety as you do about healthy cooking and easy meals. (See Be Immune to Getting Sick.)

Cross contamination, expired foods, and improperly re-heating foods can lead to food-borne illness, which can be serious. Here are the biggest mistakes college students make in the kitchen:

Leaving perishable food outside the refrigerator for more than 2 hours

Keep cold food cold (40 degrees F or lower) and keep hot food hot (140 degrees F or higher). Do not eat anything that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours, as it probably has reached the perfect temperature for viruses to grow.

Not using a food thermometer for cooking

This is one of the most important kitchen gadgets, because it allows you to easily determine if your food is properly cooked. Reference this chart for proper internal temperatures.

Thawing foods in the wrong place

Never thaw food on the counter or in the microwave. Try to plan your meals so you know when to defrost things from the freezer, and thaw them in the main part of the fridge.

Trusting your common room microwave

It is common in college settings for various appliances (iron, fridges, hair dryers) to compete for electric current, and as a consequence, they may not work as effectively. If you use a strange microwave, make sure to double-check your food using the thermometer.

Advertisement

Failing to guard against cross contamination

This begins in the grocery store when you place things in your shopping cart. Make sure your meat does not drip onto your fresh fruits or vegetables. If using reusable bags, wrap meat separately and throw the bags in the laundry when you get home. When preparing food, use different cutting boards and knives and wash your hands between steps. (See How to Prevent Food Poisoning From Leafy Greens and Other Contaminated Foods.)

As always, remember the golden rules of food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill.

Using leftover plastic containers in the microwave

The heat can cause them to warp and let harmful chemicals penetrate the food items.

Source

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Food_Safety_Tips_for_College_Students/index.asp#1

Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...

STACK Performance Nutrition With Leslie Bonci: What Role Should Supplements Play?

Related Content

STACK Performance Nutrition With Leslie Bonci: The Reason Why You're Cramping

Build Muscle with this 6-Week Diet for Young Athletes

Training Centers

FIND A STACK VELOCITY SPORTS
PERFORMANCE LOCATION NEAR YOU

Connect

Advertisement

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be the fittest you ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes