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

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5
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1answer
3k views

Can most sour fruits be jelled by cooking with sugar?

I make jam all the time, using pectin. But the recipes only list a few dozen common fruits. Recently, I wanted to make crabapple jam or jelly, and I found a recipe that essentially had me cook the ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

Is acid-marinated raw chicken still safe after several days?

I marinated chicken five days ago in lemon juice, seasoned salt, and garlic powder, is it still safe to cook in the oven?
4
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1answer
20k views

How long does it take botulism spores to germinate in the fridge?

Based on this question, I started wondering how long I could keep an anerobic food in the fridge before I have to worry about botulism colonization. 1 day? 3 days? 2 months? Clearly it's not a ...
3
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2answers
4k views

Why do frozen foods that are fully cooked still need to be heated to the same temperature raw items require?

Do they put it on the boxes just in case they didn't really cook it through?
2
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2answers
996 views

What method for advance prep of seitan prevents deterioration of texture and preserves flavor while protecting from spoilage?

Tonight, I am hoping to cook up three to four loaves of seitan for final prep three days from now. My intent is to form the dough, simmer in stock or steam, and then refrigerate. In three days I hope ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Is slow cooking in an oven safe with long cooking times

I've been reading about slow cooking in an oven and I have some questions. We cook meat until it reaches a certain temperature; we can assume this temperature is deemed safe by food experts! However, ...
2
votes
2answers
639 views

How can I infuse olive oil safely?

I am infusing olive oil with truffles. How can I do it safely? Heating the oil destroys the truffle smell and pickling it is a sure way to do the same. Are there any other methods? Perhaps some type ...
1
vote
1answer
14k views

How long can you keep chocolate in the freezer?

We get lots of gifts of chocolate and due to health reasons, we can't finish all the chocolate. So we store it in the freezer. How long can or should you store chocolate in the freezer before it's ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How does meat nutritional profile change in freezing?

My teacher said that you cannot stop fats going bad with freezing. So fatty meat is not good idea to freeze over a long time. Are there other factors to consider in freezing meat?
15
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3answers
30k 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 ...
14
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1answer
19k 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 ...
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
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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
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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
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)?
11
votes
6answers
93k 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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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 ...
10
votes
2answers
271 views

How risky is it to eat raw flour, as in uncooked dough?

Does eating raw flour or doughs containing raw flour pose a significant food safety risk (i.e., greater than other dry goods or ingredients in your kitchen)? If so, are there particular cooking or ...
10
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2answers
8k views

Can you really keep feta for 3 months in a milk bath?

I just came across some instructions on how to store feta cheese, mentioning you can keep it for about 3 months in the fridge in a brine or milk bath: Store the cheese in a brine or milk bath ...
10
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5answers
364 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
4answers
10k views

Can I store suet or home-rendered tallow at room temperature for a year?

This weekend I will be in possession of 100 lbs of beef suet (which I'll be getting from a butcher friend) and plan to render it into tallow. I can't even begin to imagine exactly what this amount of ...
10
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3answers
66k 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 ...
9
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5answers
5k 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: ...
8
votes
3answers
313 views

Why do fridge temperature standards between US and other countries differ?

US recommendations always go for +4°C at most, and this would correlate with how the danger zone is defined in the pertinent literature. In Germany, most literature (and also the specification next ...
8
votes
2answers
36k views

Do canned kidney beans contain Toxins?

I'm attempting my first slow-cook today but, of course right after I started it, I read that there's some nasty chemical in uncooked kidney and cannellini beans that can cause vomiting. And apparently ...
8
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5answers
16k views

Are these worms in my black eyed peas/beans?

I was cooking some organic black eyed peas earlier today and I found what appeared to be worms. I had the peas for about 1.5 weeks before I cooked them. Is this common? I did rinse the peas before ...
8
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4answers
70k views

How long will food last in a refrigerator that is turned off?

We will be having a power outage in our building soon and our fridges are pretty full. The power will be off for about 10 hours. Will our food last safely during this time?
8
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1answer
7k views

Are the claims legitimate linking botulism to vacuum prepared foods?

I have read in many places 1,2,3 claims of a link between preparing foods sous vide and botulism, with claims that this is because the food is prepared in a vacuum. This struck me as illogical, so I ...
7
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1answer
1k views

How to ship bread or bread dough?

I've been thinking about starting a boutique mail order dinner roll business. Dough While I'd really like to ship dough and allow customers to bake (per roll) at their leisure, I'm beginning to think ...
7
votes
1answer
324 views

Are large veins in a rhubarb leaf safe to eat?

I've got a lovely rhubarb plant. Nice stalks, huge leaves. The biggest leaves have veins in them bigger than some of the smaller stalks. It seems a shame to throw them away— but obviously I am not ...
7
votes
5answers
815 views

How to cook insects?

I love touring and I am trying to cut my dependency on my protein sources such as soy powder, beans and other supermarket stuff. Touring is a bit like camping but with longer distances and a bike. So ...
7
votes
1answer
469 views

Does soap kill germs?

This accepted answer about knife cleaning seems to presume that soap sanitizes: ...in household use soap is required to sanitize your knife blade. However, a cursory search seems to undermine ...
7
votes
1answer
870 views

Knife cleaning: safe to do without soap?

Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual suggests that knives can be cleaned with hot running water alone. "With sufficiently hot water, soap should not be necessary." Is this safe? What if I am only ...
6
votes
2answers
46k views

How can I tell whether beetroot is still edible?

I have some raw beetroot I bought about a week ago, having stored them at room temperature since. It's the first time I bought it raw, and I'm unsure whether it's still edible. It is already soft, ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

How necessary is it to marinade meat before making jerkies?

So I just got myself a dehydrator, for the purpose of making jerkies. I was thinking of just seasoning the meat lightly instead of marinating them, which takes considerably more time, needs more ...
6
votes
2answers
45k views

Can cashews go bad? If so, how do you tell?

We have a tub of cashews that seems "off:" they smell a little different and taste a little different than we're used to. They don't smell or taste rancid (to us, I don't think I've ever tried ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Can I use the same board for meat and vegetables?

I've heard that it's not good to use the same board for vegetables and meat, not only when you are making a salad but in general. Something about the bacteria in dirt and the bacteria in the meat is a ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the danger of salmonella in 'home laid eggs' and how should I clean them?

I have a question additional to this question How does salmonella get into eggs. This tells me that salmonella is mostly found on the shell of an egg. However, eggs are treated (typically washed) such ...
5
votes
5answers
23k views

What does flour smell like when it goes bad?

I've got about 15lbs of saphire unbleached white flour left from my 25lb bulk purchase from 2 weeks ago. While preparing a wonderful zucchini bread recipe I noticed a "sour" smell from my flour. It'...
5
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8answers
6k views

What to do about beetle infestation of wheat products? How do we prevent reinfestation?

Today my wife went to make some bread. She noticed some very small insects in the whole wheat and regular flour. Upon further inspection, many of our wheat based products were infested with these ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

I left stock out to cool overnight. Is it safe to use?

I made a Peking duck stock, strained it while hot, then left it to cool overnight. My apartment is 24 degrees C. In the morning, I divided it into smaller portions and refrigerated it. I'd never made ...
4
votes
1answer
303 views

How can I effectively time a short thawing and brining of a a turkey?

I have a 14 lb. frozen turkey. It has been in the refrigerator for 12 hours now but there is not enough time to thaw it completely in the fridge before cooking it in the turkey fryer. Could I safely ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

How long does it take to cook eggs safely as a function of temperature?

The FDA recommends cooking eggs (or dishes containing them) to 160°F (71°C) for safety. However, I know it's possible to make them safe by cooking for a longer period of time at a lower temperature. ...
4
votes
2answers
546 views

can maple syrup be refrigerated after it was out for a few days?

I opened Adirondack pure maple syrup a few days ago. It didn't say to refrigerate, so I didn't. When I googled it, it said that it should be refrigerated. Can I still do that? If I may not use it ...
4
votes
2answers
162k views

How do I know if my salmon fish is cooked properly?

I intend to cook some salmon fish over this weekend so that I can treat my friends and relatives. However, I saw this article - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/22/the-hidden-dangers-of-...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a blood orange be half bloody?

I've got a "sanguino moro" (blood/red) orange, but it appears to be only half-bloody, as in the photo below. However all figures I've found on the internet show oranges that are purely red inside, for ...
4
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2answers
12k views

Undercooked beans in chili?

I made a bit of a mistake, being a lazy bachelor and inexperienced at cooking. I was making chili and when it came time to add beans I discovered I didn't have any canned beans. I did however have ...
4
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2answers
12k views

How long can I keep thawed vacuum-packed fish in the fridge?

I know that for fresh fish, or fish that was previously frozen without special storage, you should use it the same day. If I thawed too much, does the fact that it was vacuum-packed add to the time I ...
4
votes
1answer
53k views

What is the shelf life for chocolate chips?

Have some semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have been in a bag inside a plastic container in a cupboard for 2 years but expiration date on the bag says that's one year too much. What's the shelf life ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I leave a cake / cupcakes frosted with cream cheese frosting out on the counter?

I need to frost a cake and cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting for a late morning party tomorrow. I do not do a lot of baking so I'm concerned about when I should frost the cakes. For the sake of ...