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

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28
votes
3answers
83k 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.
20
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
888 views

How can I make yogurt at home?

What are the requirements for making yogurt at home. Is there a solid recipe for making yogurt?
26
votes
7answers
160k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
18
votes
11answers
213k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
212k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
86k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
91k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
369 views

Is it best to just cook with the oil that has the highest smoking point?

I was recently at my locals farmers market and someone was handing out samples (cooked) of what they were selling. The guy cooking said to never use olive oil and use grapeseed oil instead because ...
3
votes
2answers
566 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

How dangerous is it to bake food with plastic?

I just baked a spiral ham for an hour. There was a little piece of plastic that I was supposed to 'remove before cooking', but I didn't notice it. After an hour, the ham was baked and the plastic ...
11
votes
6answers
34k 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
39k 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
9answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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
59k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
486 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
20k views

Mold on Vinegar Batch?

About 2-3 months ago I decided to start my own batch of vinegar. I started with some Braggs apple cider vinegar which contains the mother, and I added some old wine and some fruit juice to the mix. ...
19
votes
14answers
61k 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
59k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
24k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
110k 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
12k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Food safety when tasting from dish

When making a dish, I of course taste it through out the process of cooking until its done. I have been extra careful - Each time I taste from the dish I use a new spoon - This means that I have to ...
16
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
21k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
17k 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
14k 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
3k 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
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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
641 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
28k 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?
14
votes
5answers
86k views

Can store bought salmon be used for sashimi?

Is it safe to consume raw fish purchased at the fish counter of a typical suburban grocery store? If not, do you have any tips for finding sushi grade fish.
14
votes
2answers
15k 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
9k 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
58k 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
5k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
39k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
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: ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Ideal fridge temperature accounting for temperature spikes

I've read the question on the ideal fridge temperature, but am asking a more involved question about a baseline temperature and temperature spikes. How will a few hours each day at 10 C effect the ...
8
votes
2answers
33k 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?
7
votes
3answers
3k 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
2k 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 ...