It’s not enough to rely on our sense of smell to determine if food is good. Experts say there are many more variables to consider.
Also: be careful with your smartwatch! 95% of smartwatches are ‘safe havens’ for germs
Learn about the most perishable foods and the diseases that can result if eaten in poor condition.
To understand the complexities behind determining the quality of food, it is necessary to consider several aspects.
1. Microorganisms and bacteria:
Many bacteria and microbes that can contaminate our food don’t necessarily produce detectable odors. For example, certain bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella may be present in food without giving off a distinctive smell.
2. Other signs of decomposition:
Sometimes, changes in color, texture, or even taste can be more accurate indicators than smell. In meat, for example, a green tinge or sticky texture may indicate spoilage. Fruit and vegetables can also indicate spoilage when they become soft or moldy.
3. Proper storage:
The way we store food can extend or shorten its shelf life. Foods such as fish or certain dairy products require a constant low temperature. Breaking the cold chain, even briefly, can speed up its decomposition without immediately giving off an odor.
4. Foods with higher risk:
Products such as shellfish, red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy tend to break down faster than others. It is important to follow storage and consumption recommendations before the expiration date.
5. Related diseases:
Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, salmonellosis and many other diseases can be caused by eating poor quality food. In many cases, these diseases can be serious, especially in children, older adults, or people with weakened immune systems.
While smell is a useful tool in the initial determination of food quality, it should not be the only criterion. Learning to store food properly, keeping an eye on expiration dates, and learning to recognize other signs of spoilage are critical. Prevention and care during food handling and consumption are key to keeping us healthy and safe.