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Sometimes when we arrive home, we are so tired and hungry and I am at a loss in terms of what to make. Often, I just want to mix all the things in the refrigerator and boil them or fry them and mix with spice and lemon. Without concerning answers too much with the taste or anything, I'm most interested in MacGuyvering dinner without also ending up with food poinsoning.

What are the major, bold-faced beginner guidelines I should follow to ensure the safety of doing this?

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3  
How much do you know about basic food safety to begin with? –  daniel Apr 15 '11 at 20:58
    
only i am sure every thing is clean ... my main question is mix to good thing create bad things :D –  Efazati Apr 15 '11 at 21:11
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There isn't much you need to do to protect your physical wellbeing. But to protect your sanity 1. Think twice of how the combination will taste. You will feel compelled to finish it off, especially if there is nothing else for dinner. 2. If you are feeding other people, make sure you know about their dietary restrictions, or they'll hate you or go anaphylactic on you 3. Actually, it is best to not test new recipes on guests, especially if they don't come from a trusted book. As for family members, sort it out with them - preferably before you surprise them with mussels in cherry sauce. –  rumtscho Apr 15 '11 at 22:15
    
Don't swallow mentos whole while drinking diet coke? :-) –  talon8 Apr 18 '11 at 17:42
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I've never heard of any two things which are safe to eat separately, but poisonous when combined. When you consider everything gets mixed in the stomach anyway, I find it unlikely to ever find things like that.

Daniel's question about your food safety knowledge is an important one. Make sure to use separate tools for raw meats, clean your tools, cook to appropriate temperatures, and not leave food out either thawing or cooling. I wouldn't feel bad if -everyone- took a food safety class at least once in their life. I mean, it's typically a few hour workshop.

In the long run, I would encourage you to aim for a diverse diet. Make sure to include starches, green and root vegetables, and other oddities. The underlying attitude of "I'll eat whatever is quickest to throw in a pot" can lead to frequently finding the same thing "quick to throw in a pot" and a less healthy diet.

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As long as you are following food safety rules, any standard grocery store ingredients should be fine. I can't speak for exotic foods.

Possible problems:

  1. You may have digestive problems if you have too much/little fiber or if you overload it with chile. Nothing dangerous though, assuming you are in good health.

  2. You may have long term troubles if you aren't getting proper nutrition.

  3. I am assuming you aren't going mad scientist and mixing things like vinegar and baking soda and drinking it before it can fizz fully. Don't do that.

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laugh So while I'm posting saying "I've never heard of 2 things..." you post a counter example (vinegar & baking soda). Then again, I'm not sure I'd consider either to be "foods" on their own, so I stick with my assessment. ^_^ –  Scivitri Apr 15 '11 at 21:25
    
They go into foods, but I agree that they aren't really foods. It was just the first thought I had when I read the question. Plus after the reaction occurs, it is "safe". –  Wulfhart Apr 15 '11 at 21:32
    
What does the "standard grocery store" in Iran stock? :-) –  TFD Apr 15 '11 at 23:25
    
On point 3, other things to avoid on that safety line are eating food that expands unexpanded, rice and such like. That can lead to serious malfunctions. –  Orbling Apr 16 '11 at 0:22
    
@TFD Food, just like every other grocery store. ;-) –  Wulfhart Apr 18 '11 at 17:14
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Make sure raw meat is cooked, vegetables washed... other than that... go nuts?

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I'm not sure nuts would benefit from being boiled. ;-) –  Martha F. Apr 15 '11 at 23:03
    
Meat is perfectly fine raw as long as you food procurement and handling is safe. In fact you have to wonder if you are not happy with the safety of eating it raw, should you be eating it at all? Cooking meat only solves some safety problems –  TFD Apr 15 '11 at 23:24
    
@TFD: No thanks on the raw chicken. –  derobert Apr 20 '11 at 6:50
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