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

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17
votes
3answers
12k views

Can you put polystyrene in the microwave oven

I want to know for sure if you can use polystyrene trays (such as those that meat comes in) in the microwave oven? I have read some fairly official looking reports and articles that say there's not ...
17
votes
2answers
8k views

Do I need to pre-cook bacon when adding it to a quiche?

I've got a quiche recipe that requires me to use bacon but it's not clear on whether or not I should cook the bacon before adding it to the quiche. The quiche is to be cooked at 180C for 25 mins so ...
17
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is expired frozen chicken safe to eat?

It seems to be a widely held belief that that freezing chicken, and then defrosting, cooking, and eating it much later (well past the expiration date) is a perfectly fine thing to do. What makes it ...
17
votes
10answers
198k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Should I taste-test food before serving it?

Do all chefs sample food before serving it? I ask because I feel like there is a huge sanitary problem here. If the chef gets a taste of the food, doesn't he risk his saliva getting into the food ...
16
votes
5answers
111k views

How long can eggs be unrefrigerated before becoming unsafe to eat?

A friend of mine accidentally left a carton of eggs on her counter, unrefrigerated, for three days. The eggs had been previously refrigerated both at the store and at home. Now she's planning to do ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do chefs use salt and pepper bowl after touching raw foods

When I see chefs on tv handling raw chicken or such and then stick their fingers in a salt bowl to seasoning them why is the salt in the bowl not contaminated too. I see this all the time on cooking ...
16
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
88k views

Is it safe to cook a steak that was left out (raw) for 7 hours?

I left a round steak out for 7 hours in a container of cold water. It was wrapped very well, hadn't been opened yet. Is it ok to cook this? I planned on cooking it in the crockpot for 8 hours.
16
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Yellow coloring inside a fish normal?

I recently purchased a Bronzini fish from a local market. From the outside it looks great. But on the inside, a portion of the fish is a mucusy yellow The other side looks normal ...
16
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
14k views

Botulism, Garlic, Cold pressed Olive oil and mason jars

I make a product I invented called Maybe It's Marinade. Cold pressed extra virgin olive olive, pressed garlic as the base in three varieties, AoliOliO, Dill and Cayenne Pepper, garlic powder, and ...
15
votes
5answers
186k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

What do I need to know about temperature and food safety?

What general rules do I need to follow to keep my food safe? How do I know what temperature to cook something to, or whether my food is safe at room temperature?
14
votes
7answers
6k views

Do I have to peel red potatoes before baking them?

I recently made some potato wedges in the oven. I shared this recipe with my relative, who admonished me for not properly peeling the red potatoes before baking them. She claims that there are ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Metal dust/shavings in food from knife wear?

I've been wondering about this for a while, since getting interested in knife sharpening. When using a knife, it will get duller. One (the primary) reason being that you "bend" the edge. You fix this ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

Is Beer Can Chicken safe?

Some time ago I've read about Beer Can Chicken. I've never heard of this in my area, but it seems (and looks) tasty! So I would like to give it a try. There is just one thing that worries me: Is it ...
14
votes
1answer
19k 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 ...
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?
14
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
16k views

Does ketchup belong in the fridge, or the cupboard?

I'm hoping this will solve a biiig long-running debate I have with my friends. Heinz Tomato Ketchup (The UK version contains sugar from beets, rather than HFCS like the US version) I tend to think ...
14
votes
7answers
34k views

How do I maximize the shelf life of my homemade hot sauce?

I am planning on putting this year's crop of hot peppers to use by trying my hand at making my own hot sauces. I've never tried this before, but I've found a number of recipes on the Internet. ...
13
votes
9answers
13k 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?
13
votes
9answers
26k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
25k views

Are fungal toxins a significant problem in coffee, and if so, can they be avoided?

I stumbled across this blogpost which claims that coffee is awesome for our bodies but only if it doesn't have mycotoxins (toxins generated by fungi). To quote them: One study showed that 91.7% ...
13
votes
3answers
23k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
29k views

Should maple syrup be stored in the refrigerator?

Is there any reason to store maple syrup in the refrigerator? It tastes better when it's a little warmer.
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Does soy sauce expire?

Being mostly made of salt, I often used soy sauce well beyond (as in "two years and more") its expiration date without ever having a problem. Is that a bad idea, and did I actually take some health ...
13
votes
7answers
82k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
55k views

Is rare duck breast safe?

Other forms of poultry are regarded as undercooked at the slightest sign of pink juices and yet it is common practice to cook duck so that it's medium rare. Is the risk of food poisoning significantly ...
13
votes
7answers
15k 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
6answers
7k views

dry garlic in oil --> botulism risk?

My girlfriend and I are thinking of preparing some flavored oils for Christmas presents this year (don't tell anyone!). We've read online that fresh garlic presents a health hazard when stored at room ...
13
votes
2answers
50k 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
5answers
80k 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.
13
votes
2answers
6k views

When should cutting boards be replaced?

From a food safety perspective, under what conditions should a plastic or wood cutting board be replaced? I have a plastic one that developed a crack that goes through both sides of the board. I ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Coconut Water from White vs Brown Coconuts

The warning label on each coconut describes how to treat the water within each. The water on the brown coconut is to be discarded; the water on the white coconut is safe for consumption. In what ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is Teflon dangerous?

I've read that non-stick saucepans using Teflon are dangerous. Why do so many people still use them including all the professional chefs, and how do you personally feel about using them after reading ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
97k views

Is it safe to eat sprouted onions?

I opened my onion rack lately to find onions that had sprouted several-inch-long green roots... It made me extremely queasy and I threw them out. But I was wondering - would it be safe to eat them / ...
12
votes
4answers
10k 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.
12
votes
9answers
205k 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
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?
12
votes
1answer
341 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 ...
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
6answers
4k views

Is there a way to safely can pesto sauce?

I grow basil and I have enough that I would like to can some pesto sauce. I have tried to find a way to can it but I keep hitting a wall. I would like to give a few cans of pesto to people for ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Is hot tap water safe for cooking?

I'll typically bring hot water from the tap to the boil instead of waiting longer for cold water. This hot water comes from water heater with a large storage tank. Is this considered safe? For ...
12
votes
4answers
16k 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?