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

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11
votes
5answers
30k views

Can I re-cook a ham that was left out overnight?

I left a fully cooked ham in a bag out overnight. It was refrigerator temperature when I took it out at 9pm. Our Seattle home was not heated; it was about 50 degrees last night. I found it at 6am and ...
11
votes
7answers
33k views

Can I Brown Beef For Slow Cooking the Night Before

Many slow cooker recipes suggest that beef be browned before being added to the slow cooker, which is definitely better for the flavor of the dish. I've always believed that this browning must occur ...
11
votes
9answers
23k views

Can you reuse marinade used with raw chicken?

I marinated chicken a couple weeks ago, and stored the marinade afterwards in a jar. Can it be reused, or is that dangerous? I've been told conflicting stories here. The marinade is mostly teriyaki if ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it safe to use oil at its smoking point?

Teflon toxicity and second degree burns aside, are there any health issues related to cooking with oil at or past its smoking point? Googling a bit I found one article that went so far as to say you ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I eat cheese which has been “infected” with blue cheese mold?

Recently, I bought two pieces of cheese - St. Agur and Pyrenean cheese. They were cut from wheels, not pre-packaged. At home, I removed the foil and placed them in the same plastic container in the ...
3
votes
4answers
18k views

how long to cook a turkey per pound

I'm cooking a turkey for thanksgiving for the first time. I've got a beautiful 11 lb turkey and according to the websites I found, I should cook it for about three hours. When I asked my girlfriend's ...
23
votes
9answers
49k 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 ...
44
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
19
votes
14answers
48k 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?
13
votes
2answers
38k 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
21k views

Are Green Potatoes OK?

Sometimes when peeling a potato, I find that areas of it are a bright shade of green. Does this mean that: A) The potato is OK to eat? B) The potato is OK to eat, as long as the green parts are ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Room temperature “rest” for fresh mayo?

On the mayonnaise episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown recommends letting homemade mayo sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours before refrigerating. The idea is to let the acid in the mayo kill any ...
6
votes
6answers
78k views

How do I know if a black banana is too old to be eaten?

From time to buy, I buy too many bananas. For the future, I am considering refrigerating them instead of eating them, but they turn black. How can I know whether a black banana is still edible?
5
votes
11answers
10k views

Sous vide without plastic bags?

I really like the idea of cooking steak using sous vide. However, I am very wary of heating food up together with plastic, and then eating the food, as I believe that at high temperatures, chemicals ...
16
votes
3answers
15k views

Are refrigerated hard boild eggs really unsafe after a week?

Most sites that I've googled (such as http://www.ochef.com/1009.htm, and http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/eggs2.htm) say that refrigerated hard-boiled eggs need to be eaten within one week. I'm a ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

Does wax on citrus fruit make the zest unsafe to eat or compromise its flavor?

A number of (chiefly British) recipes specify unwaxed lemons for zesting. Unwaxed citrus fruit are not widely available here in Sweden, so I have to make do by attempting to remove the wax before ...
13
votes
9answers
10k 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?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some techniques to cool down a dish so that we can store it in the refrigerator safely?

My wife just cooked some 'plof' (an Ashkenazi Jewish recipe). A one pot chicken, rice, onion, carrots dish. All those are in their respective layers. She just finished cooking it. We're going to go ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the sous vide botulism risk if storing meat post-cooking at home?

So I understand that cooking sous vide has a potentially high risk of botulism due to the anaerobic environment (vacuum). As such, you need to be careful with time and temp combinations. If you are ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to prepare Chicken Tartare?

I know that raw chicken generally has a lot of safety concerns. Is there anyway that I can source the chicken to minimize these worries? What are the general concerns? How can I combat them? Are there ...
4
votes
1answer
11k views

What are the acceptable methods to thaw food items?

What are the proper ways to thaw foods? Are there any advantages or disadvantages to them?
3
votes
2answers
352 views

Do “Best by: XX-XX-XX” foods have an expiration date?

How long will foods that have "Best by: XX-XX-XX" on the product last past that date? I have tried looking online, and all I can find is anecdotal evidence, which isn't very assuring for me since ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do food producers determine expiration dates on products and ingredients?

It is well known that food expiration dates are somewhat arbitrary. For some foods, they are much more important than others -- for example, you can pretty easily tell on your own if milk has gone bad ...
3
votes
4answers
607 views

I bite my nails. How can I keep proper hygiene in the kitchen?

I'm not a professional chef, but I think someone will have this issue, somewhere, and is a chef. A similar question asked about having a cold, but nail biting is much worse due to the obvious amount ...
14
votes
5answers
141k views

How long does it take for milk to spoil unrefrigerated?

A half gallon of milk (in the paper carton, not plastic) got left in the car for 1.5 hours in about 80 degree (~27 °C) weather (evening so no direct sunlight). Is it still probably safe to eat if one ...
14
votes
2answers
14k views

Is it safe to eat mouldy bread?

Is it safe to eat mouldy bread, even after cutting away the moulded parts? And how can you tell if the mould is harmless or toxic?
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Leaving the food out to cool off after cooking

After cooking, if the food is hot I heard it is better to leave it out until it cools. Why? Because if you place it hot in the refrigerator, the bacteria will grow there. On the other hand, I think ...
11
votes
5answers
49k views

My ginger is blueish… is it safe?

I bought ginger at the grocery store last week and kept it, unpeeled, in the fridge. Today I sliced it open and there is a ring of a blueish colour, instead of the yellow I was expecting. The ginger ...
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Is the double boiling canning procedure really necessary?

It seems the usual procedure is to sanitize cans and lids by immersing them in boiling water, to fill the cans, and then to cap them and boil for a few more minutes. If I sanitize a can and then fill ...
10
votes
9answers
10k views

How can I ensure food safety if my cooking utensils have touched raw meat?

Twice in the past week or so, I've wondered whether my cooking utensil was still clean enough to cook / serve with. Here were the situations: Cooking ground sausage (no casing). While breaking the ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Why prevent apples from turning brown?

It's somewhat well-known that applying an acidic solution to sliced apples prevents them from turning brown as quickly. I believe that the primary motivation to prevent the "browning" is aesthetic: ...
8
votes
2answers
28k 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?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Do tinned foods go off (stale)?

This morning I found a tin of baked beans with a best before date of August 2014. A colleague of mine told me that it's perfectly safe to eat, and that tinned foods never go off. Can this be true? Do ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Does cooking raw meat/poulty extend its shelf life?

I pulled a chicken out of the freezer a couple of days ago with the intention of making stock/soup. It's defrosted now and ready to go, but I don't have the mirepoix ingredients and I'm too lazy to go ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to use the same cooking utensils for raw and cooked meat?

So, being new to cooking, I tried cooking a pan-seared ribeye steak for the first time recently. I'm just getting new cooking utensils, and the idea of flipping the steak is something I'm not sure ...
5
votes
1answer
41k views

How many times is it safe to reheat chicken?

I thought I remembered hearing the food agency Evira say that you should never reheat chicken meat after the initial cooking. However, I cannot find the statement of it anymore. Now I'm starting to ...
4
votes
2answers
13k views

How long can I reuse this delicious bacon grease for cooking?

I cooked some bacon about a week ago and left the grease in the pan. I've used it the last two nights with great success for cooking other meals. How long is it safe to reuse? I figure since I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

After how long is boiled milk tea consumable?

I made tea with milk in the morning and had it in the evening. Is it is safe? After how much time, does it become unconsumable?
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
11answers
69k 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.
11
votes
5answers
6k 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?
7
votes
2answers
156k views

Is it safe to leave cooked poultry at room temperature overnight?

Assuming that I've already cooked the poultry (or eggs) to recommended temperatures - does it need to be refrigerated immediately, or is it safe to eat if it's been left at room temperature overnight? ...
43
votes
13answers
63k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
6k 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", ...
13
votes
4answers
16k views

Is it safe to cook wine or vinegar in cast iron?

I want to cook a beef brisket, following a recipe that suggests baking it on a bed of onions and red wine, or red wine vinegar. I'd like to use a cast iron dutch oven, but am concerned about the ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Can we digest raw starch?

One of the wisdoms passed on early in my family is not to eat certain types of food raw, because they will cause bellyache. It is regarded common sense on par with not to touch a hot stove because it ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

Ground beef storage and use past sell-by date

When I buy food it's at least a few weeks worth, and I bought some ground beef the other day with the intention of using it over a couple weeks. I have a couple questions regarding storage: I use ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the ranges of Pork Temperature that are flavorful and safe?

USDA guidelines for Pork state that you should cook it to 160F. I have heard over the years that you can undercook from that, which seems desirable, as 160F is going to be pretty dry. I know the ...