Can You Pass This Food Safety Quiz?

hamburger on a bun with a bite taken from it.

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Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator

Lots of people call our office because they don't know the answers to the 8 questions on this food safety quiz. Do you?

freezer with open door

Question 1: How long will food stored constantly at 0º F remain safe?

  1. 1 to 2 years
  2.  5 years
  3. Indefinitely

refrigerator and refrigerator thermometerQuestion 2:  What temperature is recommended for your refrigerator?

  1. 50º F
  2. 45º F
  3. 40º F

washing a watermelon under a faucetQuestion 3:  Since only the inside of melons (such as watermelon) is eaten, does their outer rind need to be washed?

  1. Yes
  2. No

hamburger on a bun with a bite taken from itQuestion 4: If a food tastes OK, is it safe to eat?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Maybe

raw chicken on a skewerQuestion 5:  Should you wash raw meat and poultry before preparing it?

  1. Yes
  2. No

leftover broccoli and chickenQuestion 6: How long should you store leftovers in the refrigerator?

  1. 3 to 4 days
  2. 1 to 2 weeks
  3. 3 weeks

woman with a stomach ache and holding her stomachQuestion 7: If you’ve never gotten sick from food that you prepare — even though you don’t follow “food safety guidelines” — could it make someone else sick?

  1. Yes
  2. No

eggs in egg carton

Question 8: For best quality, how soon after purchase does the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommending using eggs?

  1. 1 week
  2. 3 to 5 weeks
  3. 2 to 3 months


 1.  c. Indefinitely. Food will be safe indefinitely at 0º F though the quality will decrease the longer it is in the freezer.

2.  c. 40º F. Keep your refrigerator at 40º F or below. Buy an inexpensive appliance thermometer for both your fridge and your freezer; check them often.

3. a. Yes. Bacteria present in soil can contaminate the outside of melons. When melons are cut, these bacteria are transferred to the part we eat.

 4.  c. Maybe. However, don’t count on your taste, smell, or sight to tell you if a food is safe to eat. Even if tasting could tell ... why risk getting sick? A “tiny taste” may not protect you. A small amount of some bacteria, such as of E. Coli, could make you sick. When in doubt, throw a food out.  

5.  b. No. Washing increases the danger of cross-contamination by spreading bacteria present on the surface of meat and poultry to nearby ready-to-eat foods, kitchen utensils and counter surfaces. Cooking meat and poultry to the recommended internal will make them safe to eat.

6. a. 3 to 4 days. Use leftovers within 3 to 4 days. Discard any food left at room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90º F. Place food in shallow containers and refrigerate at 40º F or lower or freeze at 0º F or lower. Frozen leftovers will taste best and be at best quality if eaten within about 3 months.    

7.  a. Yes. Some people have a greater risk for foodborne illnesses. A food you safely eat might make others sick. People with a higher risk for foodborne illness include infants, pregnant women, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems and individuals with certain chronic diseases.  

8. b. 3 to 5 weeks. Store eggs in their original carton in the coldest part of the refrigerator, but not on the door when they are more susceptible to temperature changes as the door opens and closes. Though the “sell by” date will probably expire during that time, the eggs will still be safe to use.


  • Questions 1 and 2: USDA/FSIS Image Library
  • Question 3: Alice Henneman
  • Questions 4, 5 and 6:
  • Question 7: