Questions on handling, preparing, and storing food in ways that prevent foodborne illness.

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78
votes
11answers
32k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, how long is it safe to keep it out?
60
votes
9answers
295k views

Is it safe to eat potatoes which have sprouted?

I'm talking about potatoes which have gone somewhat soft and put out shoots about 10cm long. Other online discussions suggest it's reasonably safe and the majority of us have been peeling and eating ...
59
votes
10answers
24k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
46
votes
1answer
11k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
41
votes
10answers
171k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
39
votes
13answers
48k views

Why do we peel carrots?

So I was sitting there, looking down at my counter, realizing that I probably had a good carrot or two of shavings just going to waste. (well, I'll compost it, but it's non-food at that point). Is ...
39
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it safe to eat moldy cheese if you slice off the edges?

Whenever my cheese gets too old and has a bit of blue/white mold on the side, I'm not sure whether I should throw it completely out or not. Is it safe to eat if I cut off the edge? Should I cut a bit ...
33
votes
11answers
52k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
32
votes
4answers
62k views

Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

If cooking meat kills bacteria, and bacteria are responsible for problems with eating meat which has been left out, then why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out at room temperature and ...
32
votes
7answers
90k views

Is there a problem with defrosting meat on the counter?

I generally defrost meat on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine suggested that this was dangerous and suggested that I defrost meat in the refrigerator. I am no biologist but it seems to me that as ...
30
votes
14answers
4k views

Nonstick cookware or not?

I am looking to replace my >10 year old Calphalon nonstick cookware. I can see the nonstick surface coming off the pans, and am starting to worry about how much of that is getting into our food. I ...
29
votes
4answers
39k views

Should I peel kiwifruit?

What should I do with the kiwi peel? I've got no problem with its taste and feel and eat them whole when I'm by myself. Is it in any way bad for my health?
26
votes
8answers
14k views

Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?
26
votes
11answers
277k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
25
votes
4answers
39k views

What is the internal temperature a steak should be cooked to for Rare/Medium Rare/Medium/Well?

I'd like to know when to take my steaks off the grill and please everybody.
24
votes
10answers
51k views

Is it safe to eat smoked bacon without grilling?

The reason I ask this is due to the fact nothing on the bacon packaging indicates it can or cannot be eaten 'raw' and in general eating raw meat is a bad idea.
24
votes
7answers
112k views

Is ground beef that was in the refrigerator for two weeks and has turned brown still usable?

I bought some ground beef around 2 weeks ago and used half of it, putting the rest in a freezer bag in my fridge (not the freezer). It has since turned brown (not red, as when I bought it). Is it ...
24
votes
4answers
25k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
24
votes
5answers
15k views

Is “until juices run clear” a valid test for poultry doneness? Why or why not?

I've come across this particular recommendation many times in various recipes and cookbooks and probably even given it out myself once or twice. Poultry is sufficiently cooked when the juices run ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it safe to eat a cooked steak that (briefly) touched the plate that was holding the raw meat?

So I just finished preparing a perfect-looking steak, and as per usual, my apartment's hypersensitive smoke detector decided to go off. Not wanting to put the steak back into the pan, in one ...
23
votes
1answer
412 views

Sniffing out a rotten egg from the dozen

Is it possible to tell if an egg has gone off? I am not referring to those eggs that have been especially brined to look like they've been sitting around for decades, but to fresh eggs you want to ...
23
votes
3answers
7k views

Never ending soup; is it actually safe?

In the poor student or youth worker days it was popular to have never ending soup; a large pot on the stove that was topped up with new and leftover ingredients when available. Normally the pot was ...
22
votes
9answers
35k views

Expiration Date on Milk

What does the expiration date on milk cartons mean? I have different experiences with the date: There is still about a week before the expiration date but the milk has gone bad It is 1-2 days ...
21
votes
4answers
59k views

Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?

Why is safe to eat some raw or undercooked meats like beef and fish (assuming you're careful), but not chicken? I know that there are bacteria in chicken, but are they in all chicken, or just so many ...
20
votes
5answers
9k views

Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil?

So, I foolishly ignored advice about wearing gloves while handling hot peppers. I thought since they were "just" anaheim peppers I'd be fine... I was wrong, and I repent. Does anyone know of a way ...
20
votes
10answers
10k views

Can I boil eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else?

I know cooking the eggs kills the salmonella and that the risk is small even for raw eggs. However, I stopped boiling the eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else, like potatoes, when I learnt ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

How do you properly clean a cutting board and knife to prevent cross contamination?

I have one very nice cutting board that I like to use with my chef's knife. Because I only use this single cutting board and chef's knife, if I have a recipe that calls for cutting raw meat as well ...
19
votes
2answers
9k views

Food safety of meat vs. veggies and fruit with mold on them

Obviously, it's bad to eat moldy food, so I don't do so. However, the other day I was presented with both an old pot roast and asparagus in the fridge, both of which had grown mold. Of course, I ...
19
votes
4answers
637k views

How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

My wife is obsessed about not leaving uncooked meats in the fridge longer than a day (esp. Chicken). If we buy chicken breast and we're not going to use them the next day, she'll put them in the ...
19
votes
3answers
58k views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?
18
votes
13answers
28k views

How do I stop my fire alarm from going off when I cook?

My fire alarm always goes off when I cook, even when the food is not burning. Because of this, I have never been able to keep batteries in my fire alarms. How can I stop this from happening?
18
votes
1answer
21k views

Why doesn't Bailey's go bad?

I realize it can go bad after a long time, but why does it take so much longer than other dairy products? Does it have to do with the alcohol content? If so, what is the process that is happening?
18
votes
6answers
58k views

How to keep my (deep frying) oil usable as long as possible?

I have a new deep fryer. I am pleased with its results so far. I am not a 'heavy user' though - say once every 2-3 weeks. I want to re-use the oil a couple of times. The deep fryer is covered but not ...
17
votes
5answers
18k views

How safe is steak tartare?

How safe is steak tartare? What can I do when preparing it make sure it is safe to eat?
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it safe to cook with rainwater?

Is it safe to use rainwater as an ingredient versus tap water - or even cooking things in it like pasta? Would there be any differences in measurements or cooking times - the thought being that there ...
17
votes
6answers
233k views

I need to quickly and safely thaw frozen ground beef, what are my options?

Since reading the answers to my question about defrosting meat on the counter I've been good about giving my meat time to defrost in the refrigerator. However, my plans for tonight have changed and ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to wash vegetables without running water?

I live in a subtropical climate where most people cook vegetables, rather than eat them raw, so when making green salads, I must be careful to ensure that everything is clean. I have seen ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

Do I need to pre-cook bacon when adding it to a quiche?

I've got a quiche recipe that requires me to use bacon but it's not clear on whether or not I should cook the bacon before adding it to the quiche. The quiche is to be cooked at 180C for 25 mins so ...
17
votes
5answers
27k views

How long can hard cheeses last in a refrigerator?

I had chunks of various hard cheeses, mostly parmesan, in my refrigerator for varying lengths of time. Some as long as 3+ months. I've never seen any obvious signs of spoilage and have never been ...
17
votes
1answer
5k views

Garlic turning green?

When I try to make garlic bread or, in general, something where the garlic is not in a liquid, it sometimes turns green while cooking! It's worth noting that the taste doesn't seem to really be "off", ...
17
votes
7answers
65k views

How long is it safe to drink coffee after brewed?

How many hours/days would you recommend to drink coffee (after brewed) and consider it safe? (For example if you don't want to waste it). What is the difference if it is refrigerated or not? The ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Best chopping board material for meat

I've heard that using a wooden chopping board for cutting meat is not very hygienic as it is a porous material. If that is the case, then what would a chopping board ideally be made out of when ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Yellow coloring inside a fish normal?

I recently purchased a Bronzini fish from a local market. From the outside it looks great. But on the inside, a portion of the fish is a mucusy yellow The other side looks normal ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it really necessary to wash a skillet that will be heated up again soon?

I made some eggs in a cast iron skillet yesterday and didn't wash the skillet. Today I want to make eggs again. Is it really necessary for me to wash the skillet before making more eggs? It would ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Can one preserve food by periodically heating it?

I get that keeping food temperature low will slow down chemical reactions and preserve food, but sometimes my sister preserves food by heating it every 6 hours or so (up to 1-2 days). Does this help ...
15
votes
8answers
128k views

How long is it safe to marinate meat?

I started marinating some almost-thawed chicken and skirt steak in the refrigerator on Monday. It's Saturday, and I still haven't gotten around to cooking the meat. Is the meat still safe to cook ...
14
votes
7answers
50k views

Is it safe to cook a steak that was left out (raw) for 7 hours?

I left a round steak out for 7 hours in a container of cold water. It was wrapped very well, hadn't been opened yet. Is it ok to cook this? I planned on cooking it in the crockpot for 8 hours.
14
votes
6answers
4k views

Is Beer Can Chicken safe?

Some time ago I've read about Beer Can Chicken. I've never heard of this in my area, but it seems (and looks) tasty! So I would like to give it a try. There is just one thing that worries me: Is it ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

Does meat need to be washed before preparation?

I don't even remember where I have learned that, but I've always thought it common knowledge: Before a piece of meat gets seasoned, or malleted for tenderizing (sorry, don't know the English word for ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

How should I deal with blood released while thawing meat in the refrigerator?

Saturday I pulled a package of venison from my freezer to thaw and hope to make stroganoff with it tonight. However, this morning I noticed that the package (in a bowl) had really released a lot of ...