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

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23
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
808 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 ...
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 ...
7
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Safe to wash rice the night before and leave overnight before cooking?

I'm trying to figure out a convenient way to bring fresh rice for lunch. Cooking it the night before and leaving it in the fridge causes it to become dry and hard and unpleasant, and I've read that ...
5
votes
2answers
723 views

Rules for refreezing food

What are the general rules regarding when can you refreeze food that was frozen and then thawed in the fridge? and what are the reasons behind them? (Hygiene? Food quality?). Let's assume for the sake ...
4
votes
1answer
5k 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?
4
votes
5answers
57k 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?
3
votes
4answers
566 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
2answers
12k 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
6k 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
7answers
25k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
9k 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
8k 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 ...
10
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 ...
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
21k 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
2answers
1k 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
10k 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
1k 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
2answers
2k views

Is smell a bad way of determining whether meat is still good?

I have always relied on my sense of smell to determine whether meat (most often chicken) is bad and I thought it was reliable. However, I have just heard that [1] smell is not always reliable, since ...
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
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?
24
votes
10answers
58k 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.
39
votes
13answers
54k 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
14answers
33k 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
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", ...
12
votes
2answers
29k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
5
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
155k views

Can I put frozen meat in a slow cooker?

I was wondering if I can put meat directly from the freezer into a slow-cooker. I want to be able to put chicken in the slow-cooker without having to let it defrost for a whole day in the fridge. It ...
12
votes
6answers
60k views

How long does it take for buttermilk to go bad?

I love making buttermilk pancakes but I can never seem to use up my buttermilk before it passes the expiration date. The thing is, if I take a solid whiff of the "expired" buttermilk it smells great ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as “food grade CO2”?

I'm thinking about building a setup to make my own carbonated water. Should I be concerned that I'll be filling up my CO2 tank at Dick's Sporting Goods?
11
votes
1answer
307 views

Is there anything special about fugu meat?

I know that fugu is fairly well known both inside and outside Japan, and wild versions of the fish contains a toxin 1200 times more potent than cyanide. (Fun fact: one species is also the second ...
11
votes
9answers
7k 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?
10
votes
3answers
467 views

Suggestions for convenient and safe methods of transporting a few meals without a vehicle?

I'd like to prepare a few meals for a cousin who recently gave birth. She lives about an hour and a half away, and I will be walking and taking public transportation to get there. Does anyone have ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Do you use paper or cloth towel for patting a meat dry before frying?

It is advised to pat a steak dry before frying. I've used paper towels in the past for this, but sometimes parts of them stick to meat. Now and then I've used a clean cloth kitchen towel for patting ...
9
votes
2answers
613 views

What is the difference between normal oils and cooking oils?

I am not proficient in cooking but I have one question which I am not able to figure out. I have read on internet some oils should be used for dressing, other for cooking. But to me, they all look ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What precautions should I take when preparing food while I have a cold?

If I have a cold, what precautions should I take while preparing food to make sure that I don't transmit germs?
8
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
764 views

Reusing oil containers

I generally buy large containers of oil (olive, canola, peanut, etc.) and just refill a handful of smaller oil bottles. That way it's cheaper in the long run, and the smaller bottles are easier to ...
7
votes
4answers
37k views

How can I know whether a potato is too old?

I have many kilograms of potatoes that are turning bad, I don't want to throw them away. The term "turning bad" means that the best-before days on the products vary between 1-4 weeks i.e. they are old ...