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

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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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4answers
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Is the double boiling canning procedure really necessary?

It seems the usual procedure is to sterilize 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 sterilize a can and then ...
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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 ...
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2answers
550 views

Red apples safety

I used to peel off the thin wax layer that covers red apples. Is this necessary?
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
321k views

How long after I cook chicken is it safe to eat if stored in a fridge? [duplicate]

How long after I have cooked chicken can I safely eat if stored in the fridge. Same day only? Next day? Within a week?
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
407 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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3answers
25k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
666 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 ...
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5answers
14k 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. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
833 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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: ...
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4answers
18k 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 ...
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5answers
14k 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 ...
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3answers
865 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
51k 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 ...
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3answers
22k views

What meats can I serve medium rare and why?

It is generally accepted that pork and chicken must be cooked completely (unless put through a strong curing process) while certain cuts of beef and lamb can be served on the rare side. Why is this? ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
397 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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7answers
8k 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 ...
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3answers
910 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 ...
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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?
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923 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 ...
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5answers
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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?
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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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4answers
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Is designating knives to avoid cross-contamination necessary?

I have a friend who assigns one knife for cutting raw meat, another knife for cutting fruits and vegetables, another for cutting cooked meat, etc. Is washing one knife after each specific use not ...
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3answers
7k views

Ground beef storage and use past sell-by date

When I buy food it's at least a few weeks worth, and I bought some ground beef the other day with the intention of using it over a couple weeks. I have a couple questions regarding storage: I use ...
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4answers
2k views

How thoroughly do you need to clean the inside of a chicken before baking it?

My wife's family breaks apart the inside and cleans out what is in between the bones. My family just rinses the inside and then bakes it. Do you need to be super thorough when cleaning a chicken or is ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
279 views

How do you source meat that will be minimally cooked?

I was recently asked where one could find meat that could be prepared "blue to blue-rare". What kinds of meat (other than fish) can be prepared this way and how would one go about finding a reliable ...
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2answers
9k views

Can mushrooms be re-heated safely?

What happens inside mushrooms when you reheat them? Is it always unsafe to reheat them or is there something you can do to safely reheat them?
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709 views

How can I make yogurt at home?

What are the requirements for making yogurt at home. Is there a solid recipe for making yogurt?
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What do I do with mildly fermented maple syrup?

Our organic grade A maple syrup, bought in bulk, has gone slightly fermented in the fridge. If I were still in college, this would be great, but I am a bit older. What do I do with this stuff? Can I ...
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Hygiene-wise, need to clean grill/broiling tray after each use?

Hygenically speaking, is it necessary to clean an outdoor barbeque grill and/or an oven broiling tray after each use? Thoughts: Many people don't clean their barbeque grills all summer long, in part ...
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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 ...