The Food Safety Quiz


By: Teresa McGlothlin

6 Min Quiz

Image: Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

There's a lot more to being safe in the kitchen than keeping your fingers away from sharp knives. In fact, there are many, many steps that everyone must take with food to live life on the safe side. Whether you've cooked in a fast food kitchen or you've only microwaved at home, knowing a few essential food safety rules could save your life. 

From knowing how long food should be left out to understanding how to properly store food, knowing the rules of food safety ensures the health of anyone sharing your food. We've been told to wash our hands before we eat since we were children, but were you told how long you need to scrub to make sure your hands are truly clean? No matter how many of our food safety questions you get right, we are sure you will learn something you never knew before. 

As we broil and bake our way through this Food Safety Quiz, make sure to read each question carefully. Once you feel like you know the correct response, choose it from the options we have given you. By the time you have finished, we will let you know how much of a food safety expert you can call yourself! 

How long should your hands be washed with soap and hot water?

According to the USDA, you should wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. It doesn't hurt to scrub longer, but you only need 20 seconds to rid yourself of a litany of bacteria.


What method is best for ensuring meat is properly cooked?

The only way to make sure meats and poultry are cooked to the proper temperature is to use a meat thermometer. The minimum recommended temperature for beef is 160 Fahrenheit.


How many hours can food be left out?

Without being put on a warmer, cooked food should be refrigerated or stored within 2 hours. This food safety rule could change the way you look at family potlucks!


If foods are not properly canned, what can they contain?

When food is not properly sealed during the canning process, it can foster the growth of botulism. When consumed, botulism can lead to complete muscle paralysis.


What is the maximum temperature deli meats should be stored at?

Foods like vegetables, deli meats, and cheese should be stored at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees. If they are stored above 40 degrees, the risk of spoiling rises considerably.


How should you thaw out meat or poultry from the freezer?

To avoid harmful bacteria growth, frozen meats and poultry should be thawed slowly in the refrigerator or on the microwave's thaw setting. Leaving the meat or poultry in water or exposed to air raises the possibility of becoming unsafe.


Where should eggs be kept?

To avoid the growth of Salmonella, eggs should always be stored in the refrigerator. Raw eggs should also never be eaten - not even in cookie dough! Cooking kills any of the bacteria found in the yolk of the egg.


What should you do with bulging or dented canned goods?

If you come across a bulging or dented can in your cupboard, take it directly to the garbage bin. There's a good chance that the can's seal has been compromised and the can is harboring botulism.


How many U.S. citizens die from food borne illness every year?

Every year, nearly 1,000 U.S. citizen pass away from some sort of foodborne illness. On average, one in six Americans will experience some kind of food poisoning every year.


Can you rid poultry or seafood of bacteria by washing it?

No matter how many times you wash poultry or seafood, the only proper way to remove bacteria is to cook it to the proper temperate. Washing under running water can create unintentional cross-contamination to other foods.


Which of the following human foods should a dog never eat?

No matter how much your canine friend begs, they should never be allowed to have chocolate. Chocolate can cause toxicosis in pooches that can lead to seizures and an irregular heartbeat amongst other horrible things.


What should you do after washing fruits and vegetables?

Research has shown that patting fruits and vegetables dry increases the level of bacteria removed from the produce. Take the time to make sure your newly washed fruits and vegetables are properly dried before you put them away.


What is the minimum internal temperature pork should be cooked to?

Using a meat thermometer to measure, pork's internal temperature should be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not enough to judge whether the meat is done by touching it or by looking at the color of the juices.


How many days can raw beef be kept in the refrigerator?

After purchasing raw beef, it should be immediately refrigerated. After only 2 days, it must be cooked or frozen.


How long can boiled eggs stay in the refrigerator?

After being boiled, eggs can remain in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Anything over 7 days, and they should be thrown out.


What temperature should a chicken breast be cooked to?

Any poultry, including chicken breast, should be cooked to a minimum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Undercooked poultry runs the risk of carrying salmonella and Campylobacter.


How many known foodborne illnesses are there?

The World Health Organization reports that there are around 200 known types of foodborne illnesses around the world. As a result, nearly 420,000 people lose their lives each year.


What part of the cherry should you never eat?

You should never eat the pit of a cherry. While one might not hurt you, a handful of them contains enough cyanide to cause you serious harm.


What part of the rhubarb is inedible?

Although you can make pies and jams from the stalk of the rhubarb, you should never eat the leaves. They contain a corrosive acid that is dangerous to both humans and animals.


What percentage of meat contains drug resistant bacterias?

Livestock is often treated with antibiotics to prevent many diseases. Due to overuse, many strains of bacteria have become drug resistant. In the U.S., 1 in 4 packages of meat contains traces drug-resistant bacteria.


What temperature should you cook leftovers to?

Whether you are microwaving or reheating your leftovers in the oven, you should make sure to heat it to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking leftovers at this temperature ensure they are safe to eat.


At what temperature does liquid freeze?

When liquid reaches a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it freezes. Make sure your freezer is set to below 32 to properly freeze both foods and liquids.


Which group is most at risk for a foodborne illness?

Certain groups, including children, are considered in the "at risk" category for contracting a foodborne illness. Other groups include the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems.


What is it called when a food is taken off the market due to contamination?

When illnesses are reported, and foods test positive for contamination, food makers are forced to issue a recall. When a recall occurs, all the product is taken off the market and consumers are advised to remove the food from their homes.


How often should you clean your cutting board?

When you are preparing a meal, you should take extra caution by washing your cutting board with soapy water between every food. Cleaning the cutting board so frequently prohibits cross-contamination.


How warm does fish need to be in Fahrenheit?

When cooking up your catch of the day, you should use a thermometer to make sure you cook it to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish should be cooked until the flesh can be pulled apart easily with a fork.


When reheating sauces, how hot should they go?

When you are reheating things like sauces and soups, they should be reheated to boiling and left to cool. All other leftovers only need to reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Where should you leave foods to marinate?

When marinating foods, make sure to allow the action to happen in the refrigerator. The freezer will create more work, and on the counter or in the oven will allow bacteria to grow.


How many cutting boards should every kitchen have?

Every kitchen should own at least two cutting boards. One should be used for meats and poultry, and the other should be used for vegetables.


How many days worth of water should you store for emergencies?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised storing enough water to last for three days after an emergency. They also recommend that you store one gallon per day per person or pet.


Which bacteria is a concern when consuming unpasteurized products?

When raw and unpasteurized foods are consumed, they contain a higher risk for listeria than their pasteurized twins. The most major symptom of listeria is diarrhea.


How many teaspoons does the average can of soda contain?

The average can of soda contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar. It exceeds the entire amount of sugar recommended for an entire day.


Where should cleaning agents be kept in the kitchen?

Although we frequently use cleaning fluids in the kitchen, it is recommended that all cleaning agents be kept in another location. Storing cleaning fluids with foods runs the risk of cross-contamination.


How should you clean up minor spills in the kitchen?

Although any of the answers can be used to clean up minor spills, paper towels are the recommended method because they can be thrown away. Dishtowels are another great option, but they need to be washed and frequently sanitized.


How long will food keep in a freezer with no electricity?

If you experience a power outage, do not open your freezer door. Foods in a closed freezer can hold a safe temperature for up to 48 hours.


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