Tagged Questions

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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
3answers
15k views

Are vegetables poisonous if they have roots, are sprouting or are many weeks old?

Can I use sprouting vegetables? Are they poisonous? When cooked, does the sprouting have an effect to foods taste? Can I use my potatoes or carrots if they already has some roots...? How about when ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Will botulism growing in my home-canned vegetables pop the lid?

I remember that in my biology class in high school the teacher told showed us a puffed up can of pineapples which he claimed had botulism in it. Is that remotely true? and if so, can I tell if my ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the preferred method for sanitizing the kitchen?

I'm aware of a number of ways for sanitizing. Soap. Ammoniac. Bleach. Sodium bicarbonate. Which of these is the preferred method of sanitation? Which concentrations are recommended? How can you ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Can lemon juice concentrate be used after the use-by-date?

My lemon juice concentrate's use by date passed a few months ago. It was kept it in the fridge the whole time. Is it still safe to use it?
6
votes
1answer
324 views

How to safely grill meat/fruit/veggie skewers

This weekend we grilled kebabs with steak, onions, peppers, and big pineapple spears. No ill effects, but I noticed that the pineapple was still cool where it was touching the meat, and the meat ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Are there other parts of a Lobster that are edible apart from the Tail and Claws?

I was thinking of the innards - specifically the white parts inside of the main body and what looks like eggs.
7
votes
5answers
17k views

Minimum procedure for sterilizing mason jars for canning

My wife and I are about to do some tomato canning tomorrow. We have a bunch of mason jars that we didn't have time to sterilize. She thinks that just washing them in hot water is enough. After ...
11
votes
6answers
50k views

Is it safe to eat Raw Corn?

I saw a recipe for a Summer Salad that said to sprinkle raw corn on top for a "crunch" effect - I've never eaten raw corn and was wondering if it was safe. I'm guessing hard to digest at the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What makes carrot bits turn green in carrot pineapple bread? (And are they safe?)

Sometimes, a couple of days after its cooked, the carrot bits inside a carrot pineapple bread turn green. Normally, I'd assume that a food that doesn't start green and winds up that way is moldy, ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there health issues with sous-vide cooking?

As I understand the technique, you put a food item in a plastic bag and dump it into warm water for some amount of time. What happens to bacteria growth inside the bag?
18
votes
6answers
75k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Safe pH range (acid vs base) for food

One of my molecular cookbooks goes into the use of acidity / alkalinity in cooking. What it doesn't describe is what safe pH values are that you can still serve food at. Note: I am not looking for ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Partially defrosting, then refreezing?

OK, so we shouldn't refreeze meat once it's been defrosted. But if I've partially defrosted meat, then popped it back in the freezer, is that safe? Specifically I'm thinking of sausages or steaks or ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Am I cooking frozen fish safely?

I am always ultra paranoid about cooking food properly - especially fish. I have started buying frozen salmon. On the packet it says to cook from frozen covered with some water in the microwave. I ...
10
votes
2answers
13k views

Is cooking with olive oil bad or toxic?

I've heard that cooking with olive oil is bad for you and can be toxic. Is this true? If so, to what extent? I see no warning on the container of my olive oil that states that it would be bad to ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Chocolate mousse with cooked eggs?

Most recipes I have seen for mousse require you to use egg yolks and don't involve any cooking of the egg. It's my understanding that when an egg's yolk is still soft (or not cooked at all in this ...
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Method of canning without pressure canner?

I'm debating canning but I don't have a pressure canner. I was just wondering what the best method to can would be since I don't want to get botulism and I want the canned food to last for a long ...
13
votes
2answers
31k views

Is it safe to eat butter after it has crossed its expiration date? Does butter ever spoil in fridge?

I just came back from a long trip and I was cleaning out my fridge, and I noticed that there is an expiration date on the butter. It expired about two months from when I bought it. The butter doesn't ...
12
votes
3answers
14k views

How can I safely use a blender with hot liquids?

One instruction in a new barbecue sauce recipe I'm trying out is to take the pot of simmering sauce and run it through a blender or food processor. I have now learned the hard way that blending hot ...
11
votes
2answers
745 views

How does salmonella get into eggs?

Since a few hundred million eggs have been recalled, I'm wondering how salmonella gets into eggs in the first place. Is it getting on the shells from the environment (or the hen)? Is it inside the ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

What does flour smell like when it goes bad?

I've got about 15lbs of saphire unbleached white flour left from my 25lb bulk purchase from 2 weeks ago. While preparing a wonderful zucchini bread recipe I noticed a "sour" smell from my flour. ...
8
votes
2answers
23k views

Do Bouillon Cubes/Powder go bad?

I just found an old jar of Beef Bouillon cubes and although there is no expiration date, I'm a bit skeptical about using them - do they go bad?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

The Opposite of How to Chill Beer Quickly

Recently I had occasion to put @Kevin Selker 's answer to the test in terms of rapidly chilling beer. However, we uncovered a problem the next morning where people had taken beer and thrown it in the ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the black thing at the bottom of navel oranges?

Sometimes I'll cut into a navel orange and notice something black inside which originates at the bottom of the orange, where the navel is. What is it? I have seen it get pretty far into the fruit ...
8
votes
4answers
295 views

How do you source meat that will be minimally cooked?

I was recently asked where one could find meat that could be prepared "blue to blue-rare". What kinds of meat (other than fish) can be prepared this way and how would one go about finding a reliable ...
5
votes
8answers
4k views

What to do about beetle infestation of wheat products? How do we prevent reinfestation?

Today my wife went to make some bread. She noticed some very small insects in the whole wheat and regular flour. Upon further inspection, many of our wheat based products were infested with these ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

how often is cleaning done in a professional kitchen?

Today I saw Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares. Regardless of the alleged nature of "reality", he said that fridges at his London restaurant are cleaned twice a day. Is that excessive or in line with ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

How long will live lobsters last in the fridge?

My parents just got back from Boston. Since we were looking after their dog, they bought us 2 live lobsters as a "thank you". We've named them Pinchy and James. They were bought Saturday afternoon and ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

Does bacon need to be fried until crisp?

I'm not sure how much to fry the frozen bacon I get. Should it be crisp? When do I stop?
40
votes
13answers
56k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

How long can I safely keep a thawing pork shoulder in the fridge?

I purchased a rock-hard, six-pound pork shoulder at the farmers' market on Sunday and have been thawing it in the fridge since then. As of this afternoon, it's still not completely thawed, and I'm ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How deep do you need to insert the probe in a piece of meat to guarantee accuracy?

I have a wired thermometer that I mainly use for roasts, which can support the entire probe inside the meat. However, I used it last night to cook some country style ribs (pork) and was only able to ...
11
votes
4answers
11k views

Can any harm come of eating watermelon seeds?

Is there any harm in swallowing watermelon seeds? Or will they simply pass from one end to the other?
9
votes
5answers
21k views

Can chicken not completely cooked then cooled be fully cooked later?

I cooked some chicken but didn't realise it hadn't completely cooked through. It then went in the fridge and a day later I cut through it to discover the problem. Is it now safe to put that chicken ...
18
votes
5answers
22k 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?
27
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
651 views

Red apples safety

I used to peel off the thin wax layer that covers red apples. Is this necessary?
10
votes
6answers
73k views

How long can I leave an uncooked steak out?

This is similar to This Question, but hopefully different enough. I have 3 porterhouse steaks sitting in my refrigerator that I need to cook up tonight. I've been told leaving them out for an hour ...
5
votes
6answers
11k views

Storage after slow cooking

I love my slow cooker but cooling food seems to take forever. Usually, I just pop the crock into the oven (no heat) and store until the next morning. So we're talking from 9PM (I eat dinner late) ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

To sear or not to sear - slow cooking beef dishes

I want to make beef goulash in my slow cooker (first time). The instructions call for adding the beef as is. Something in my gut (rightly or wrongly) tells me to sear it first. Will it turn out ...
20
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How long does raw ground meat last in the fridge?

Does it make a difference if it's raw ground pork or raw ground veal? There is no sell-by date since I got it at the butcher.
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Fruit Flies and Storage of Fresh Produce

What is a good way of keeping fresh produce (in particular, from the garden) and herbs in the kitchen without attracting fruit flies? We dispose of tomatoes etc as soon as they start to go bad, but it ...
13
votes
9answers
8k views

How do you put out a grease fire?

I recently had a grease fire - the pan caught on fire from a little fat that spilled over the skillet. Is there a safe, quick way to put out a fire like this?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the danger in cross contamination?

This question was prompted by this one on how to clean tools to prevent cross contamination. I wanted to ask it in the comments but realized it might be better as a separate question. Do I need to be ...
3
votes
4answers
56k views

How can I tell when chicken thighs are sufficiently cooked to eat?

Last night I was grilling chicken thighs on a barbecue and I was told that if there was any pink inside them, they are not safe to eat. My question is twofold: (a) Is this true? (b) Is there a way ...
8
votes
2answers
853 views

How long will a fresh herb paste last?

I make a paste using ground fresh basil, ground fresh mint, ground dried ginger, salt, ground roasted coffee, and raw honey (enough to coat all of the ingredients well). It makes a great rub, and can ...
34
votes
8answers
129k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I tell if a mushroom is poisonous?

Assume I have found and want to eat a to me unknown kind of mushroom. Is there some way to find out if that mushroom is poisonous by looking/smelling/soaking it?