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

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13
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2answers
11k 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
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3answers
7k views

Botulism risk with refrigerated items

Is there any risk of botulism from refrigerator pickling or brining? (referring to both meat and slices of vegetables/fruit) I've read about the subject a fair bit, and know the inherent risks with ...
12
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5answers
4k views

How can I tell if a mushroom is poisonous?

Assume I have found and want to eat a to me unknown kind of mushroom. Is there some way to find out if that mushroom is poisonous by looking/smelling/soaking it?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Supply of Boiling water without power outlet

This weekend coming some friends and I will be running a cake stall at a local vintage fare. We would also like to sell hot beverages such as tea and coffee. How can we cheaply and easily heat water ...
12
votes
6answers
44k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
13k views

What are the 'natural flavors' in a fruit drink that contains no juice?

When a fruit (flavored) beverage says it contains all natural flavors but no juice, where is the flavor coming from? Is it possible there are man-made additives being thrown in that can be technically ...
12
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5answers
20k views

The art of Sushi: using wasabi to kill parasites

I've been to many sushi places and last night I went to a place that I've been to before (not that long ago either). When the sushi came, we noticed that it had wasabi spread on the rice, under the ...
12
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6answers
69k 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 ...
12
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2answers
2k 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
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11answers
145k views

How can I keep hot food hot when transporting it?

How can I keep hot food hot when transporting it, e.g. to a friend's house or a potluck? I usually just give up and take cold food, but I'd like to have more options.
12
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it safe to eat raw fish?

Raw chicken is generally considered not safe to eat. A lot of people eat sushi/sashimi though, and that's raw fish. So, how come that's safe (if it is)?
12
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2answers
22k 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 it'...
12
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4answers
18k 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
7answers
8k 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
3answers
58k views

At what point should carrots be thrown away?

We tend to buy a big bag of carrots from the supermarket (mainly because it's cheaper than a small bag), but usually these are starting to go soft halfway through the week. My current rule of thumb ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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
394 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
66k views

Food safety concerns regarding cooked steak stored in the fridge

I'm thinking of cooking some steak and storing it for later use in a cold salad. If I cook it to medium rare and cut it into strips and store it in the firdge, will it be safe to eat later? I know any ...
12
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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, but,...
12
votes
4answers
11k 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
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4answers
31k 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?
12
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2answers
1k views

How do you wash fruit and veggies effectively?

When eating or preparing fruit and vegetables, you should wash them beforehand to get rid of pesticides, bacterias, fertilizers, etc. However, I notice that I (and others I know), just put the thing ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Can one become ill from consuming food smoked with wood that contains a common fungus?

If someone used common wood (oak, hickory, etc) from the woodpile, which had been sitting in the rain and weather for some moderate time and, consequently, may be harboring some common fungi, could ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Is horse meat safe to eat?

It's been in the news lately about horse meat being disguised as beef. Is this really that serious? Is horse meat unsafe? Or is it just taboo because horses are "cute"?
11
votes
4answers
11k 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
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6answers
6k views

how often is cleaning done in a professional kitchen?

Today I saw Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares. Regardless of the alleged nature of "reality", he said that fridges at his London restaurant are cleaned twice a day. Is that excessive or in line with ...
11
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2answers
16k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
11k views

To sear or not to sear - slow cooking beef dishes

I want to make beef goulash in my slow cooker (first time). The instructions call for adding the beef as is. Something in my gut (rightly or wrongly) tells me to sear it first. Will it turn out ...
11
votes
6answers
89k views

Is it safe to eat Raw Corn?

I saw a recipe for a Summer Salad that said to sprinkle raw corn on top for a "crunch" effect - I've never eaten raw corn and was wondering if it was safe. I'm guessing hard to digest at the least.......
11
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5answers
10k 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?
11
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2answers
111k views

Eating food from a slightly rusting cast iron dutch oven…is it safe?

I have a cast iron dutch oven. It has a self-basting lid, basically it has a grid of little cone shapes on the underside of the lid. The idea is that liquid condenses on underside of the lid and these ...
11
votes
2answers
951 views

How does salmonella get into eggs?

Since a few hundred million eggs have been recalled, I'm wondering how salmonella gets into eggs in the first place. Is it getting on the shells from the environment (or the hen)? Is it inside the egg?...
11
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6answers
50k views

Is it safe to use plastic wrap in boiling water?

While I've come across one or two recipes that call for using plastic wrap in pots of boiling water (for example, to cook eggs), I've always been a bit wary of putting the wrap in boiling water. Can ...
11
votes
3answers
19k views

Is it safe to reheat old water in an electric kettle?

I usually throw away the remaining water in the electric kettle before refilling it if the water is more than about a day old. In theory wouldn't boiling kill any impurities the old water might have? ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it ok to leave a slow cooker unattended?

Is it safe to leave a slow cooker (Crock-Pot) on unattended (for example, while you're at work and no one is home)? Or is that a fire hazard?
11
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
24k 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

How do cooking utensils remain safe for use?

Say I were to be cooking chicken in a pan, and I'm using tongs to flip the chicken periodically. By the time the chicken is done, how can it still be safe to use the tongs I started with to handle the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
54k 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
2answers
6k 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
1answer
2k views

Garlic Infused Oil—Safety

I recently received a bottle of garlic and herb infused olive oil as a gift. It came in a fancy bottle with a cork on top. I tried it out last night and it's terrific. I've heard about the dangers of ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Will botulism growing in my home-canned vegetables pop the lid?

I remember that in my biology class in high school the teacher told showed us a puffed up can of pineapples which he claimed had botulism in it. Is that remotely true? and if so, can I tell if my ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Safe pH range (acid vs base) for food

One of my molecular cookbooks goes into the use of acidity / alkalinity in cooking. What it doesn't describe is what safe pH values are that you can still serve food at. Note: I am not looking for ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

How long will live lobsters last in the fridge?

My parents just got back from Boston. Since we were looking after their dog, they bought us 2 live lobsters as a "thank you". We've named them Pinchy and James. They were bought Saturday afternoon and ...
11
votes
5answers
22k views

Is it safe to eat green onion slime?

I just harvested some scallions from the garden, where it's getting bit chilly (late November in Seattle). After chopping them, I realized that their insides were covered in a gelatinous, slippery, ...
10
votes
4answers
77k views

Can dry ice in a liquid poison you?

I remember hearing a long time ago that putting dry ice into a liquid that is then consumed by people could potentially poison them. I was just looking at halloween drink recipes and a few of them ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it safe to overcook beef or other meat?

When making hamburgers, I prefer to grill the beef until it is very dark and the outside is entirely black. I know that it is dangerous to eat beef that not cooked enough, but is there any hazard in ...
10
votes
5answers
359 views

How can you tell if a freezer rose above freezing?

How can one tell, after a power failure, if the contents of a freezer warmed above freezing? Knowing this, and knowing the actual temperature in the freezer, will help decide whether food can be ...