Christine Bruhn, PhD is the Director of the Center for Consumer Research at the University of California, Davis where she earned her doctorate. Dr. Bruhn has a special interest and passion for safe food handling practices. Her major area of research is in consumer attitudes and perceptions of food quality, safety and wholesomeness. Dr. Bruhn travels widely and is a sought after speaker at both academic and government conferences on food safety and food handling and food processing technologies . She currently serves on several education and advisory panels including the Food and Drug Administration's Risk Communication Advisory Group. In addition, she is often contacted by members of the media when questions of food safety make the news, especially in her home state of California. Along with her interest in making sure everyone knows “How to determine when your food had gone bad,” she is an avid cook and enjoys sharing practical food safety tips with her family and friends. For more information on food safety and nutrition questions, please visit IFIC.org.
How to Tell if Your Food Has Gone Bad
Christine Bruhn, Center for Consumer Research at UC Davis, gives an overview of how to tell when your food is no longer safe to eat.
Christine Bruhn: I am Christine Bruhn, University of California, Davis, the Department of Food Science and Technology. I am going to be telling you how you can tell if your food has gone bad. Today, I am going to show you some food safety basics, then how to tell if your bread has gone bad, how to tell if luncheon meat has gone bad, how to tell if your dairy products have gone bad, how to tell if your leftovers have gone bad, how to tell if produce has gone bad, how to tell if frozen food has gone bad, how to tell if condiments and pantry foods have gone bad, how to wash produce and how to properly store food in your fridge so it doesn't go bad. The tools you will need to tell if your food has gone bad are a refrigerator thermometer, a regular meat and cooking thermometer, plenty of soap, a scrub brush, a cutting board and lots of paper towels. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell if food has gone bad, so you have got to use common sense. What you don't want to do is taste the food, because bad food can taste great that's why so many people get sick. You have to watch the temperature control so be careful when you are cooking and make sure your food gets hot enough, make sure your food gets cold enough, be careful when you are cutting with knives, when you are preparing produce and generally just use your common sense. When you are in doubt about safety, don't taste it yourself, don't give it to your kids, throw it out when you are in doubt. Now for a few things about myself. I am a faculty member at the University of California, Davis and have been on the faculty for over 20 years. I have enjoyed cooking all of my life, grew up on a farm and enjoyed food right from the farm and now I have a garden myself. I have got two children who are now grown and are beginning families of their own and we all enjoy cooking together. We enjoy cooking safely, that way, we can have the pleasure of the good food and know nothing bad is going to happen to us later on. Now I am going to tell you some hints about how you can tell if your food has gone bad.