Does the ‘five-second rule’ actually exist?
This is the myth that if you drop food and pick it up quickly enough (within five seconds is most common, although some swear by the three seconds or ten seconds!) it will still be safe to eat. Most floors will have dirt and bacteria on them which can be instantly transmitted to a dropped item of food. If food is dropped onto the floor, even for a few seconds, you should dispose of it and then clean any spillages.
Read more from the NHS on why the five-second rule is a myth.
Should you wash raw chicken?
You shouldn’t wash raw chicken or any other raw poultry or meat. There is a considerable risk of spreading bacteria around food preparation areas and onto you. Cooking thoroughly will ensure any bacteria present will be killed.
Read the NHS’s guidance on why you should never wash raw chicken.
Can you tell from the look or smell of food whether it’s safe to eat?
If food smells off that is a good indication that it may be unsafe or unfit to eat, but food can have normal odours or look fine and still be unsafe. If it concerns food with a use-by date, it will only be safe to eat if it has been stored appropriately in accordance to the on-pack instructions and it is within the use-by date. This is the only reliable method. If in any doubt the food should be disposed of.