Taste and smell are not reliable indicators of food safety. Some bacteria that cause food-borne illness do not have off-flavors associated with them. Clostridium botulinum, for example, produces a tasteless but deadly toxin. One clue that it may be present is a bulging lid on canned food. Any cans with bulging lids should be discarded without opening, and disposed of beyond the reach of children and pets. However, botulinum poisoning is not limited to canned foods. It can occur in other foods stored improperly.
You are watching: Can you see smell and taste microorganisms
Similarly, the toxin produced by staphylococcus is tasteless and can cause typically short-term—but unpleasant—symptoms.
In other cases, spoilage organisms that cause off-flavors would deter you from eating a food before the microorganisms that cause food-borne illness have had a chance to do their work.
In the case of fresh, raw poultry, beef or fish, it makes sense to use them within a few days to preserve freshness. If that is not possible, freeze them, or cook them thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria, and use them for a dish that requires cooked meat.
Chicken, in particular, has been identified as a source of salmonella bacteria, which generally does not affect the taste or smell of food. The good news is that salmonella bacteria are destroyed by heat. To prevent salmonella infection, always prepare chicken on a clean surface, cook it thoroughly, and once it is done, put it on a clean serving dish.
The fundamental key to food safety is to keep hot foods hot (that is, more than 140 degrees) and cold foods cold (less than 40 degrees). That will prevent bacteria from thriving and help keep your meal out of the danger zone.
See more: How To Download Free Movies On Ps3 ? Websites To Download Free Movies For Ps3
Submit a question to Ask the Expert.
Previous “Ask the Expert” questions:
What is the best way to handle my child’s tantrums?
How can I reduce stress?
Are women more at risk for insomnia?
Can eating a high-sodium diet still hurt me even if I don’t have high blood pressure?