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

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1answer
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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
3k 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
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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
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5answers
33k 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
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4answers
15k 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 ...
11
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2answers
14k 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
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4answers
7k 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
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6answers
63k 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 ...
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5answers
7k 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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3answers
9k 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 ...
11
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4answers
10k 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
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2answers
817 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 ...
11
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1answer
4k 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 ...
11
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3answers
13k 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
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4answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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?
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5answers
56k 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
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3answers
27k 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 ...
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
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2answers
2k 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
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3answers
44k 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 ...
11
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7answers
37k 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
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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 ...
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3answers
5k 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
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1answer
5k 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
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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
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3answers
5k views

botulism risk with refrigerated items

SO, a bit of a longer one: Is there any risk of botulism from refrigerator pickling or brining? (referring to both meat and slices of vegetables/fruit) I've read around the subject a fair bit and ...
11
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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 ...
10
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2answers
4k 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
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5answers
245 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
9k 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)?
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5answers
14k 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
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2answers
24k views

Does having spoiling food in your fridge cause other food to spoil faster?

We all have forgotten remnants that get pushed to the back of the fridge and eventually become science experiments. Does the presence of such items (assuming they're left in a non-air tight container) ...
10
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9answers
11k 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
953 views

Red apples safety

I used to peel off the thin wax layer that covers red apples. Is this necessary?
10
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4answers
3k views

Fruit Flies and Storage of Fresh Produce

What is a good way of keeping fresh produce (in particular, from the garden) and herbs in the kitchen without attracting fruit flies? We dispose of tomatoes etc as soon as they start to go bad, but it ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What is a kitchen rag?

In his answer to a question about nail biting, nicorellius referred to not wiping your hands with the "kitchen rag". I've never worked in a professional kitchen, and the only rags I have around my ...
10
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6answers
87k 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 ...
10
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3answers
43k views

Cooked whole chicken has congealed blood around joints and bones, should I worry?

So I just roasted a whole chicken and finished carving/cleaning the carcass today. I discovered a great deal of congealed red matter surrounding many of the joints and bones. Looks like congealed ...
10
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3answers
5k 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 ...
10
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3answers
6k views

Can I sous-vide meat (at a temperature between 40ºF and 140ºF) for more than four hours?

According to the USDA cooking chicken at 145ºF (63ºC) for 13 minutes (i.e. maintaining an internal temperature of 145ºF for that long) will bring about a "7 log10 relative reduction of salmonella". A ...
10
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6answers
2k views

How effective are modern home refrigerators at keeping other foods cool when hot food is introduced to the space?

In the comments to this answer, there is some discussion as to whether putting significant mass of hot food into a refrigerator will unacceptably warm the other food already inside. Elsewhere on ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How (or is) “low & slow” turkey safe?

If I slow-cook a turkey over low, low heat for 12-18 hours, how does it stay "safe" when the turkey has been in the danger zone for a large majority of the cooking time? I've been slow-cooking ...
10
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5answers
8k views

Method of canning without pressure canner?

I'm debating canning but I don't have a pressure canner. I was just wondering what the best method to can would be since I don't want to get botulism and I want the canned food to last for a long ...
10
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3answers
907 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
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
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2answers
8k views

How to know whether a coconut is ripe or rancid before buying

Buying the shrink-wrapped coconuts (in shell) at the store is similar to playing Russian Roulette. All this trouble of getting the water out and breaking the shell only to find out the coconut is ...
9
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6answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
71k 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 ...
9
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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: ...