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

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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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2answers
1k views

Red apples safety

I used to peel off the thin wax layer that covers red apples. Is this necessary?
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6answers
21k 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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6answers
208k views

Is it bad to leave the crock pot on “warm” (not low) all day?

I just bought all the ingredients to make a soup in the crock pot. I was planning on having it cook all day, but I just realized the recipe only calls for it to cook on low for 3-4 hours. If I cook it ...
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2answers
21k 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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
108k 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 ...
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3answers
63k 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 ...
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7answers
23k 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
10k 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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5answers
9k views

When curing sausage, which is more important temperature or humidity?

I am curing sausages, pork salami in hog casing to be precise. I am having a hard time maintaining both the temperature and the humidity necessary. I have no trouble controlling temperature 60F/15C. ...
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2answers
12k 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 ...
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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: ...
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4answers
351 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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3answers
1k 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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6answers
161k views

How do I know if a black banana is too old to be eaten?

From time to buy, I buy too many bananas. For the future, I am considering refrigerating them instead of eating them, but they turn black. How can I know whether a black banana is still edible?
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2answers
3k 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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2answers
983 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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5answers
2k views

How should glasses/cups be oriented in storage?

I believe that it's better to store glasses/cups right-side-up in the cupboard, but at work everyone stores them upside-down. Which is safer/more sanitary?
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3answers
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Will meat cook inside of a rice cooker?

I would like to use my rice cooker to cook one of those pre-packaged jambalaya mixes, and I've had good success with using prepackaged rice packets in my rice cooker. Sometimes there is a bit of ...
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1answer
827 views

Will a dishwasher sterilize bottles for canning?

I'm making tomato relish. Can I sterilize jars adequately by putting them in the dishwasher?
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
6k views

Safety of Blue / Green Garlic

My mother pickled a bunch of garlic recently and it turned blue soon after. She has had this happen once or twice before where some turned green, but this time all of them turned really blue. I tried ...
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4answers
6k 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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1answer
1k views

Is it safe to deep fry two turkeys in the same oil for Thanksgiving?

Should you deep fry two turkeys in the same oil or is it better to use fresh oil for the second turkey?
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1answer
2k views

Is it safe to use oil at its smoking point?

Teflon toxicity and second degree burns aside, are there any health issues related to cooking with oil at or past its smoking point? Googling a bit I found one article that went so far as to say you ...
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1answer
2k views

How to safely cook a lamb's head?

I saw at the butcher's shop today that they sold the head of the lamb, cut in half down the middle. I became really interested because the brain was fresh, and I believed it to be really nutritious. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
381 views

How long could a meat-based broth be held safely near 180F/82C?

This question is the flip-side of the commonly asked food temperature safety concerns. I'd like to know, if a meat-based soup stock (chicken/pork/beef/etc) were to be held constantly at a safe hot ...
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1answer
2k views

What the advantage of a 'bakers couche' for proofing bread and is it safe?

A bakers couch is just floured fabric, whats the advantage to using it? King Arthur's site says that it promotes chewy, crunchy crust - how's that? If I'm just keeping it floured and not washed all ...
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3answers
2k views

Ideal fridge temperature accounting for temperature spikes

I've read the question on the ideal fridge temperature, but am asking a more involved question about a baseline temperature and temperature spikes. How will a few hours each day at 10 C effect the ...
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4answers
65k 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?
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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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4answers
7k views

Do tinned foods go off (stale)?

This morning I found a tin of baked beans with a best before date of August 2014. A colleague of mine told me that it's perfectly safe to eat, and that tinned foods never go off. Can this be true? Do ...
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5answers
15k 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 ...
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3answers
13k 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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5answers
110k views

I ate undercooked steak, what can happen to me?

What are the risks of eating undercooked steak? I tried to cooked medium rare steak for the first time and I did not know about the palm trick to see it the meat is ready. I ate a bite and it was ...
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3answers
11k views

Is it safe to reheat food in plastic containers?

Is it safe to reheat food in any type of plastic container or are there only some types of plastic ware that are safe to use?
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2answers
276k views

Is it safe to leave cooked poultry at room temperature overnight? [duplicate]

Assuming that I've already cooked the poultry (or eggs) to recommended temperatures - does it need to be refrigerated immediately, or is it safe to eat if it's been left at room temperature overnight? ...
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2answers
47k views

Do Bouillon Cubes/Powder go bad?

I just found an old jar of Beef Bouillon cubes and although there is no expiration date, I'm a bit skeptical about using them - do they go bad?
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4answers
4k 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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2answers
22k 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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1answer
2k views

Is an unrefrigerated canned ham safe to eat?

I just cooked a canned ham for my family. It was fully cooked, and I reheated it well. The problem is that we ate it and then I realized it was supposed to be refrigerated. I had kept it on the shelf. ...
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2answers
1k views

Did I store these potatoes incorrectly (found a bug inside)?

I have a 3 pound bag of 'Idaho' brand potatoes that I bought a few weeks ago. They all looked good (firm and no sprouts) when I went to get them the other day except for one. This one had a white ...
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2answers
1k views

Sprouts and “better-to-cut-out-parts” in vegetables

A while ago I read that "all the green parts in tomatoes" actually contain a not so healthy "active ingredient" which would be better not to eat. What I knew was that we couldn't digest those parts ...
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3answers
8k views

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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2answers
324 views

Is Salmonella from eggs a US-only problem?

A google for "Europe egg wash" will show up a lot of interesting results about differences in Egg processing and storage. NPR says European chickens are vaccinated against Salmonella; and that US ...