Originally Posted by GotGarlic
Well, we have the same ultimate goal, but I do believe that it's accurate to say that a myth exists that plastic boards are safer than wooden ones. I hear TV chefs say it all the time, which irritates me a lot
The same goes for the idea that mayo causes foods to spoil more quickly, when the opposite is true. What people generally don't understand is that it *used to be* true, back when people made their own homemade mayo from unpasteurized eggs. But now most people use commercial mayo, which is made from pasteurized eggs and often contains vinegar and lemon juice - acids that inhibit the growth of bacteria.
So I'm on a mission to spread the word about these myths
What you are saying is true. On a previous thread here about flavored mayo and butters I said:
"I still don't know if the OPs question dealt with fresh made or commercial Mayo. It would be nice if someone takes the time to post a question is she/he would follow up.
There is a ton of mis-information about mayo. Commercial Mayo is a relatively safe product, doesn't not "cause" food poisoning, and will not support significant bacterial growth even if left at room temperature.
The reason is that is has a ph of about 3, and anything below 4.5 is generally considered safe at room temp. Commercial mayo is mainly oil, pasteurized egg products, and vinegar or lemon juice. The refrigerator shelf life is mainly a quality issue, not a safety issue when it is left in its original state.
The two month throw out recommendation is when the quality will begin to be compromised.
Of course, it could just be a big conspiracy by Hellman's and Kraft to sell more mayo
Many restaurants that serve sandwiches during the lunch rush leave the mayo out in a container and are not given a violation by the health department upon inspection.
I too am interested in dispelling the myths, because they are dangerous in that they often take our focus away from what is important.
As to the safety zone temps, these change with jurisdictions. 45 degrees was a common standard for many years. 40 is now the federal guideline. Both have some "fudge factor" built in.
Did it ever seem odd to anyone that all these guidelines hit exactly on a 5 degree mark like 40, 45, 180 etc. Do you really think nature is ordered that way, in perfect 5 degree increments.
There is no perfect number, because different micro-organisms grow better at different temp and in different foods.
Having said that, I do think 40 is the "best" guideline, because it is easily obtainable and allows for a little "play" in the thermometer and different areas of the refrigerator.