How many of us has smelled a gallon of milk to determine if it'sdrinkable?
The Centers For Disease Control estimates food borne diseasecauses about 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths a year.
You can get more than 200 known diseases through food andthose who get sick most often are probably the ones who don't thinkthey will, about ages 20 to 49.
So, before you go eating another sandwich you left in theoffice refrigerator last week, let us introduce "Fat Tom." Fat Tomcan teach us a lot about what's good to eat.
Only Tom isn't a person--it's an acronym that stands forFood, Acid, Time, Temperature, Oxygen and Moisture: FAT TOM.
Chef Don Averso set up a crash course in food safety for us atTidewater Community College using Fat Tom to teach.
"If you can manipulate one of these areas you have a betterchance of controlling the growth of bacteria on your food, and itsthe bacteria that make you sick," he said.
He told us bacteria like food high in protein best, likechicken. Bacteria does not like acidic food,
so, pickles, peppers,olives, anything in a brine, can be leftout for hours.
Same with beef jerky or vacuum packed foods, where the oxygenand moisture are taken out.
For everything else, beware of the danger zone.
"The temperature danger zone is 40 to 140 degrees," he said.
Thats where bacteria grows. The cold air in a refrigerator orfreezer prevents it, while cooking to 165 degrees kills it. Wheneating or entertaining, watch the clock. If food is sitting outmore than four hours, toss it.
Four is also the maximum number of days you should keepleftovers, or anything pre-packed that you open, like lunch meat.
"Once you open it the clock starts ticking, and you have totreat it like a leftover," Averso said.
As for those dated products, unless it says use by, it's asell by date. Averso says those foods should be used within fourdays of the sell by date.
Two Virginia Beach school buses were involved in accidents Tuesday morning.
Two school buses crashed in Virginia Beach on Dec. 10, 2013.
A Newport News school bus went into a ditch Tuesday morning.