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

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How long does it take for unopened cheese to go bad?

I bought one of those blocks of Dubliner cheese (at Costco, sealed relatively well in wax paper) and left it in my car all afternoon and overnight by mistake. Given that it is unopened and the ...
7
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5answers
18k views

Minimum procedure for sterilizing mason jars for canning

My wife and I are about to do some tomato canning tomorrow. We have a bunch of mason jars that we didn't have time to sterilize. She thinks that just washing them in hot water is enough. After ...
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5answers
44k 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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4answers
7k 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 ...
7
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2answers
179k views

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

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? ...
7
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3answers
464 views

Do restaurants regularly disinfect baskets and trays?

I certainly hope the answer to this question is yes, but do restaurants regularly disinfect baskets and trays? Even if they are covered with paper wrappers or placemats? Are there fairly universal ...
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3answers
8k 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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6answers
2k views

Infusing olive oil with herbs

I have some basil from my garden that I would like to infuse with olive oil to flavor it. I was going to pack the jar with the herbs and then pour the oil over it, keep it in a jar for about a week ...
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6answers
91k 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
11k views

Lunch meat is slimy on outside?

Sometimes when I buy lunch meat cuts, from the supermarket, they quickly slimy on the outside. Regardless of the date which is indicated by the sticker. I perform the taste, smell, and visual checks ...
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5answers
785 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
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2answers
60k 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 ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
19k 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
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3answers
14k 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Reusing oil containers

I generally buy large containers of oil (olive, canola, peanut, etc.) and just refill a handful of smaller oil bottles. That way it's cheaper in the long run, and the smaller bottles are easier to ...
7
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1answer
663 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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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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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
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1answer
357 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
124 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
2k 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 ...
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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
877 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 ...
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2answers
353 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?
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2answers
207 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 ...
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2answers
551 views

How long do peanut butter sandwiches last at room temperature?

We're going on a long flight with our family tonight. I prepared peanut butter sandwiches for the kids, and would like to pack it already to avoid the last minute rush (or forgetting them). We're not ...
7
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1answer
776 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 ...
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4answers
46k 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
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1answer
856 views

Barbecue sauce with onion

My husband is making barbecue sauce and putting chopped cooked onion in it. He made large amounts and stored some in mason jars and put them in the pantry; he put 3 squeeze bottles in the fridge. I'm ...
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7answers
84k 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?
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2answers
195 views

Can pressure canning be replaced water bath canning?

I wanted to make and can, my Grandma's tomato soup. However I don't have a pressure canner. I made the soup in a 15 PSI pressure cooker and then poured it into sterilized jars and then canned it in a ...
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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 ...
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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
258 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 ...
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2answers
515 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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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
9k views

Reheating Spinach

I have heard that one shouldn't reheat a meal with spinach in it. Is there any truth in this and what is the reason?
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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
878 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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2answers
16k 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
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1answer
685 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 ...
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4answers
10k 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 ...
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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?
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351 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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2answers
478 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 ...