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

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2answers
18k views

Are nectarine seeds edible?

Eating a nectarine this afternoon, I found the pit was cracked open. Curious, I broke it apart and found an almond-like seed (or nut?) inside. I remember hearing that some almonds, or perhaps their ...
7
votes
1answer
643 views

How should I manage my fridge?

I try to be careful, I really do, but I found a week old cod smelling 'fishy' in my fridge. Normally, I put the date on the package, so at least I know how long things 'last' in there (lost and ...
7
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2answers
4k views

Partially defrosting, then refreezing?

OK, so we shouldn't refreeze meat once it's been defrosted. But if I've partially defrosted meat, then popped it back in the freezer, is that safe? Specifically I'm thinking of sausages or steaks or ...
7
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2answers
3k views

When is Slow Cooking done - time vs temperature of meat

I have read that slow cookers manufactured recently (not sure what time period that actually means) rise to their cooking temperature faster because of FDA concerns of keeping a food at a dangerous ...
7
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2answers
12k views

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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
343 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
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1answer
121 views

Why did my lids seal?

This has never happened to me before! Last night I made Refrigerator Pickles using cucumbers and an ordinary vinegar, water, sugar brine. My intention was to make a couple jars for co-workers who ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Storing and re-using rendered duck fat

I recently made duck confit in my slow cooker. I purchased a 2 lb container of rendered duck fat for that purpose, which I'd like to save. Is it possible to re-use the fat? If so, how should I store ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Is it safe to store hot tea in PET bottles?

Every morning I bring with me a small PETE (from some searches it seems to be the same as PET plastic) bottle (an ex coke bottle) containing hot tea. Is it safe to store hot liquids, especially, tea ...
7
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1answer
858 views

Are chilies in olive oil dangerous?

In Portugal, chilies in olive oil are a very typical form of spicy sauce, in both commercial and artisan forms. Different types, amounts, and mixes of chillies result in different flavours and it can ...
7
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2answers
340 views

How can I tell if a fish can safely be prepared “crudo”?

Is there something you can look for? Am I left to the seller's word and my own discernment?
7
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2answers
201 views

How to determine if canning is safe?

How can I tell if it is safe to can a particular homemade sauce? Is it just a function of pH and technique (pressure vs boiling water) or are there any other factors in play? Specifically, I would ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

What are the fault tolerances on the FDA food handling guidelines?

Sometimes I have suggested that food that sat out a little longer than optimal may be safe to eat. Granted, this is based on my experience, and I always qualify that it shouldn't be served to ...
7
votes
1answer
694 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
4answers
42k views

How can I know whether a potato is too old?

I have many kilograms of potatoes that are turning bad, I don't want to throw them away. The term "turning bad" means that the best-before days on the products vary between 1-4 weeks i.e. they are old ...
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2answers
1k views

How can I reassure myself a given food is not a botulism risk?

Ever since a man has died (in my country) because of eating home-made ham contaminated with botulism, I'm really concerned about it and I see risks everywhere. I have 2 questions related to it, and I ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

Which types of fish in sushi must be cooked?

Sushi fish is raw... except for eel, which is a fish but is cooked. Are there other types of fish that are cooked in sushi? Is this a food safety issue? (e.g. shrimp/crab/seafood which aren't served ...
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3answers
2k 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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4answers
79k views

Chicken smells like eggs

I purchased some fresh chicken a few weeks ago and immediately froze it. Today I took it out and put it into boiling water to start making soup. Before I added anything else, the whole room started to ...
6
votes
7answers
79k views

Does pesto go bad?

I have some basil pesto but I'm not sure how long its fridge life is. It is in a sealed container. How long does it last before it is not safe to eat anymore?
6
votes
2answers
5k 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

Separate cutting boards: Cooked vs Uncooked meat

I know it is common knowledge that one should using different cutting boards for meat and vegetables (cross contamination), but should you also use a different cutting board for raw/cooked meat? Or at ...
6
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2answers
143 views

Why did my storebought spaghetti sauce bubble out of the jar?

Tonight we were having meatball subs we open store bought spaghetti sauce and put it on our subs. We just spooned it out of the jar, no heating. We looked away for a moment, then once we started ...
6
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4answers
31k 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 ...
6
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2answers
473 views

Does freezing non-freezable liquids affect life span

I've created my own sauce, bagged it and left in the freezer for many days. It is still not frozen stiff (details to follow). I'm struggling to know how to phrase this question but, I'm concerned that ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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6answers
78k 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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3answers
3k views

What is the danger in cross contamination?

This question was prompted by this one on how to clean tools to prevent cross contamination. I wanted to ask it in the comments but realized it might be better as a separate question. Do I need to be ...
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3answers
2k views

Can I mince garlic in advance?

I really hate mincing garlic in tiny batches for each dish. Is there any way to mince many bulbs in advance and store them for a week or more?
6
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2answers
52k views

Is it ok to store open cans in the fridge?

I'd been taught growing up that you should never store canned food in the fridge in the open can. Is there any scientific basis to this, or is it just an old wives tale? What types of foods should ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

How long do eggs last outside the refrigerator and out of the shell?

How long would eggs last out of the refrigerator and out of the shell? This may be a strange question, but I'm planning on baking them afterwards. And I'll leave them out only around 6 hours at ...
6
votes
1answer
650 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
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4answers
9k views

Is it OK to marinate chicken and pork together?

I just want to minimize dishes taken to a BBQ--marinating pork chops in a lemon/herb/olive-oil baste along with some chicken skewers. Is there anything to worry about with trichonosis when preparing ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Would boiling make escargot safe if they were carrying parasites or bacteria?

I've read that escargot can be a carrier of parasites (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) or bacteria that can lead to meningitis. I assume there are no visible signs if they are in fact carriers. Will the ...
6
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2answers
4k views

frozen blueberries kept thawed

Had a couple bags of frozen blueberries. Put them in the fridge to thaw. They've been in the fridge for several weeks. Can I still cook with them?
6
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2answers
818 views

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

(apologies if off-topic) 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. ...
6
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3answers
343 views

Is it best to just cook with the oil that has the highest smoking point?

I was recently at my locals farmers market and someone was handing out samples (cooked) of what they were selling. The guy cooking said to never use olive oil and use grapeseed oil instead because ...
6
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4answers
6k views

How to safely handle raw milk?

I have a couple of questions how to use fresh milk (not pasteurized) coming directly from cow in village (in traditional way, of course). How long it should be boiled before usage? Is it better to ...
6
votes
2answers
469 views

Is it dangerous or unhygienic to deshell an egg over the bin?

I have been reprimanded at work for de-shelling egg over an open bin. My hand is not touching the bin, as it is opened via the foot pedal. So is it dangerous or unhygienic to deshell an egg over the ...
6
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1answer
277 views

Should I wash my pre-washed greens?

This sounds so silly writing it out. I frequently buy Olivia's organic spring mix salad which says it's "triple washed." Out of habit, I guess, I wash / spin each serving before I eat it. Should I ...
6
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4answers
7k views

How to get rid of weevils?

At first I thought they are plain moths, until I noticed some larvae climbing towards the ceiling, always in the kitchen. I made an inventory and discovered a package of hazelnuts which contained more ...
6
votes
1answer
426 views

Is Consumer Reports really correct about 6 parts water to 1 part rice?

There's been a number of news reports recently about possible high concentrations of inorganic arsenic in rice. I heard that Consumer Reports says to cook 1 part rice in 6 parts water to minimise ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the ranges of Pork Temperature that are flavorful and safe?

USDA guidelines for Pork state that you should cook it to 160F. I have heard over the years that you can undercook from that, which seems desirable, as 160F is going to be pretty dry. I know the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

How can I buy or make pasteurized eggs?

Many recipes for the raw-egg yolk sauces and dressings suggest using pasteurized eggs for safety, and say they are available in stores. I've never seen them for sale anywhere. Generally I accept the ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

How to make garlic oil in a safe way…tomorrow

I am planning on making some garlic oil for a friend of mine as a birthday present. Her birthday is tomorrow, so this question is a bit urgent. I've read a few of the posts that indicate that ...
6
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5answers
5k views

Is soaking beans 24 hours unrefrigerated safe?

It strikes me as an unsafe food practice to follow Cook's Illustrated's advice for soaking dried beans for 24 hours unrefrigerated. I've also seen them suggest you soak steel-cut oats unrefrigerated ...
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1answer
1k views

Does cooking raw meat/poulty extend its shelf life?

I pulled a chicken out of the freezer a couple of days ago with the intention of making stock/soup. It's defrosted now and ready to go, but I don't have the mirepoix ingredients and I'm too lazy to go ...
6
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2answers
71k views

How long can coconut milk last in the fridge?

I opened up a can of coconut milk the other day and was unable to use it all. I placed the remainder of the coconut milk into a sealed container in the fridge. I was wondering how long this would be ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Can I eat cheese which has been “infected” with blue cheese mold?

Recently, I bought two pieces of cheese - St. Agur and Pyrenean cheese. They were cut from wheels, not pre-packaged. At home, I removed the foil and placed them in the same plastic container in the ...