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Table 3 Percent of University of Waterloo undergraduate student respondents (n = 485) selecting the correct answer, and the most frequently selected incorrect answer, to food safety knowledge questions

From: Food safety knowledge of undergraduate students at a Canadian university: results of an online survey

Question Percent of Students Selecting a Given Answer
Correct Answer % Most Frequent Incorrect Answer %
What are microorganisms? Small living things that are too small to be seen with our eyes 96.8 Poisons that can contaminate our food and water 2.3
Which of the following is considered the most important way to prevent food poisoning? Keep foods refrigerated until it’s time to cook or serve them 84.3 Clean kitchen counters with sanitizing solutions weekly 11.7
Chilling or freezing eliminates harmful germs False 77.0 True 23.0
Which is the most hygienic way to wash your hands? Run water, moisten hands, apply soap, rub hands together for 20 s, rinse hands, dry hands 71.5 Apply soap, rub hands together for 20 s, rinse hands under water, dry hands, apply sanitizer 15.4
If a family member is going to be several hours late for a hot meal, how should you store the meal to keep it safe until this person is ready to eat it? Store it in the refrigerator and reheat it when the person is ready to eat it 65.7 Store it a warm oven until the person is ready to eat it 26.9
Imagine your electricity went off and the meat, chicken, and/or seafood in your freezer thawed and felt warm. What should you do? Throw them away 56.0 See how they smell or look before deciding what to do 30.1
Which method is the best way of determining whether hamburgers are cooked enough? Measure the temperature with a food thermometer 51.4 Cut one to check the colour of the meat inside 35.4
How long should leftovers be stored in the refrigerator? 3–4 days 37.2 1–2 days 36.3
All foods (except whole poultry) are considered safe when cooked to an internal temperature of: 165° F (74° C) 41.6 150° F (66° C) 31.0
To prevent food poisoning, how long should leftover foods be heated? Until they are boiling hot 31.8 Just until they are hot, but not too hot to eat right away 43.4
Which procedure for cleaning kitchen counter is best? Wash with a detergent, rinse, then wipe with a sanitizing solution 24.0 Wipe with a sanitizing solution, then rinse with clean water and wipe dry 44.2