So how do you decide if food is okay to eat? Well according to the CDC the phrase, “smells okay” precedes 85% of foodborne illnesses in the United States annually.
“We analyzed data from thousands of cases involving food-related ailments over the last decade and concluded that most individuals had given a quick once-over to leftovers and uttered some variation of ‘probably still good’ before spending the next several hours suffering intense stomach pain and vomiting,” said Dr. Robert Husted, director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.
Dr. Husted also noted that the statement, “hasn’t been sitting out for that long,” could be directly linked to cases of E. coli and even botulism. The report also confirmed that thousands of foodborne illness cases start immediately after a friend of family member says, “try this.”
It turns out that smell or taste is not a good way to determine if food has gone bad, according to the Michigan State University study. The researchers noted, “Many of the pathogens that can cause foodborne illness cannot be seen or smelled. The sense of smell and taste can also be impacted by age, illness or medication as well.”
Check out these food handling tips to ensure food is safe to eat.