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

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11
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3answers
7k 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
votes
6answers
52k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
756 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
votes
1answer
3k 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
10k 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
7k 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?
11
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
11
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3answers
16k 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
3k 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
3answers
34k 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
29k 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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4answers
12k 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?
11
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2answers
1k 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
1answer
1k 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
4k 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
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
67 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. Why is ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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
4answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
211 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
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 ...
10
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5answers
8k 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
11k 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 ...
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9answers
9k 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
698 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
votes
6answers
75k 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
votes
3answers
34k 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
4k 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
votes
3answers
548 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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3answers
4k 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
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k 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
votes
3answers
623 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
995 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
6k 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
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
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
4answers
25k 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 ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Can adequate heating transform spoiled food into safe food?

Suppose I have some food that became unsafe or contaminated by any means besides explicitly adding dangerous substances. It could be past the expiration date, or handled unsafely by leaving at room ...
9
votes
3answers
983 views

Is eating road kill a health-hazard?

I read this recent news story about a Kentucky Chinese restaurant dragging road kill into their restaurant and the town became skittish and shut the restaurant down. Is eating road-killed venison a ...
9
votes
5answers
23k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
985 views

What is the difference between normal oils and cooking oils?

I am not proficient in cooking but I have one question which I am not able to figure out. I have read on internet some oils should be used for dressing, other for cooking. But to me, they all look ...
9
votes
7answers
11k views

What are the safety considerations in making pine needle tea?

Living in a northerly climate, I have often speculated about how aboriginal people avoided diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies like scurvy (no imported citrus in those days.) According to ...
9
votes
5answers
45k 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 ...