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

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10
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2answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
610 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
528 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
550 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
10k 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
5k 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
23k 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
6k 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: ...
7
votes
3answers
18k 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
9k 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

How long boiled milk tea is consumable?

I drank milk tea in evening prepared in morning. Is it is safe? After how much time it should not be consumed?
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 ...
26
votes
11answers
276k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
11
votes
4answers
4k 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?
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 ...
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?
12
votes
2answers
23k views

Is it safe to eat butter after it has crossed its expiration date? Does butter ever soil 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
5k 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
14k 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 ...
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", ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
11k 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
1answer
292 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
129k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
6k 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?
11
votes
6answers
51k 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
3answers
408 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
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
9k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
586 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
34k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
354 views

Does freezing non-freezable liquids affect life span

I've created my own sauce, bagged it and left in the freezer for many days. It is still not frozen stiff (details to follow). I'm struggling to know how to phrase this question but, I'm concerned that ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Safety of glues in wooden chopping boards

It seems to be becoming more difficult over time to get a wooden chopping board that isn't made of separate pieces of wood that are glued together. I did find some sites discussing how to choose a ...
4
votes
2answers
924 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
42k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
5answers
42k 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?