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

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What are the grey-black specks that appear when whipping cream in stainless steel bowl?

When we whip cream by hand in a stainless steel bowl, with a metal whisk, small grey specks, ~0.5-1mm in size, appear in the cream. The specks are squishy and can easily be smeared out. See attached ...
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2answers
2k views

Is the rapid ice bath chill post-sous vide actually necessary when putting the meat/fish in the freezer?

In the past, I would frequently cook (in the oven) 6+ lbs (3+ kg) of salmon fillets (usually took ~25 min) to an internal temp of 145-150 F (62.5-65 C), take them out, let them set on the counter for ...
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1answer
4k views

The bottom of my black cheap pan has worn off and I can now see the metal below where food would go. Is that pan safe to use anymore?

As part of my "kitchen inventory package" my short stay agency gave me for my cooking, there's a pan. After a couple of mistakes (cough using it to heat sauce without adding oil (as instructed!) then ...
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2answers
34k 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, ...
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1answer
20k views

What are the acceptable methods to thaw food items?

What are the proper ways to thaw foods? Are there any advantages or disadvantages to them?
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Can I use a reused can for serving food

Since 1919, tin cans have been the symbol of the Tin Can Tourists organization (vintage trailer enthusiasts). I want to serve red beans & rice in a recycled can (actually cleaned all-meat cat food ...
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4answers
5k views

How deep do you need to insert the probe in a piece of meat to guarantee accuracy?

I have a wired thermometer that I mainly use for roasts, which can support the entire probe inside the meat. However, I used it last night to cook some country style ribs (pork) and was only able to ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it ok to keep reusing a water bottle indefinitely?

I have a 1.5 liter plastic water bottle (the disposable kind) that I keep on a shelf by my bed. I fill it every night before bed, and generally nearly finish it by the morning and refill it when I ...
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1answer
31k views

Can you refreeze chicken after it has been cooked from frozen

I buy chicken breasts already frozen from my local supermarket. I want to let them defrost naturally (IE leave the breasts out until thawed at room temperate) and then cook them in a fruit sauce. At ...
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1answer
458 views

Can a few bad (dead) mussels harm a larger batch?

I realize there are numerous related questions on freshness of mussels: Fresh mussels, or are they? How do I determine if my mussels are fresh? I couldn't find exactly what I'm looking for. So ...
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6answers
13k views

How can I safely reuse tea?

I regularly reuse my tea bags, sometimes over as much as a five hour span. I am sure that there are limits to the safe re-use of tea, but I can't find any USDA or other authoritative guidance. ...
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4answers
7k views

What is the impact of repeated cooling and reheating of maple syrup?

Today I discovered a 1/4-full bottle of pure maple syrup had gotten moldy, so searched this site and came across this question: Should maple syrup be stored in the refrigerator? My follow-up question ...
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1answer
364 views

Safety of Egg Yolk Glaze

Yesterday I baked a special loaf of bread with an egg yolk glaze. After it was mostly cooled I covered it with plastic wrap and set it on the counter to be served today. I am now concerned that I ...
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1answer
11k views

Is it safe to eat pumpkins grown specifically for carving?

As it is coming up to Halloween, there is an abundance of cheap pumpkins in the shops now. I quite like to eat pumpkin rather than carve them. Are the large round orange pumpkins good to eat are are ...
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1answer
149 views

Cut Onion Safety

I was dehydrating some diced onions overnight on my patio. When I got up I noticed the dehydrator was not running and the onions were not dry as we had a power outage overnight. Will it be safe to go ...
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3answers
6k views

How can I safely re-heat a chicken pie without burning the crust?

Last night I made a chicken pie with ham, cheese and other awesomeness inside. However, I'm worried about re-heating it safely for consumption. I estimate there are two servings (so today's and ...
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1answer
1k views

Is rare pheasant safe?

I'm planning to cook pheasant breast this evening and want to know if I can have it rare, as I would with duck breast. I know most government food agencies err on the side of caution (cook until all ...
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2answers
9k views

Why exactly is thawing via hot water bad?

I read all over the internet and labels that you shouldn't thaw with hot water? However, tons of people leave meat to get to room temperature, so how is thawing with hot water bad? For instance, when ...
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1answer
1k views

Why cook green plantains?

Many cookbooks and chefs recommend cooking green plantains before eating them. Is it just because of all the starch? Or are there any toxins as in sprouting potatoes? Does the ratio of amylose to ...
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1answer
468 views

Is extremely young meat indigestible?

Extensive rewrite: Young meat is considered unfit for human consumption by the European Union: "derives from animals which are dead before slaughter, stillborn, unborn or slaughtered under the age ...
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1answer
3k views

Are the white crystals on my American Cheese safe to eat?

I have some American Cheese with fine white crystals on the outside of each slice. They have a gritty texture. Is this a sign that the cheese is spoiled, or just lactic acid salts like aged cheese ...
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1answer
154 views

Can instant oatmeal really expire?

I ask because I ate a package of Quaker instant oatmeal (maple/brown sugar) at work today, it was just kinda a single package sitting in our "snack pantry". I looked for a date and it didn't have one. ...
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1answer
104 views

How keep prepared courgette fresh?

I am making a pasta dish at school that has courgette in it. The recipe says grate the courgette and because I don't have much time at school to do it, I want to do it at home. I do not know how to ...
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3answers
1k views

Can I eat white vinegar if it has tons of deposits in it?

I have a bottle of white vinegar on which it says that the presence of deposits is normal. My problem/concern is that there are LOTS of deposits. What are they? Is there any danger associated with ...
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1answer
3k views

Do some breeds of chicken have particularly red meat when cooked?

Tonight, my friend and I ordered a fried chicken special at a restaurant with a local food theme. It was a great dish. Both of us got very pink chicken. I am pretty sure that my plate had three ...
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2answers
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Is it safe to use the same cooking utensils for raw and cooked meat?

So, being new to cooking, I tried cooking a pan-seared ribeye steak for the first time recently. I'm just getting new cooking utensils, and the idea of flipping the steak is something I'm not sure ...
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2answers
2k views

Am I cooking frozen fish safely?

I am always ultra paranoid about cooking food properly - especially fish. I have started buying frozen salmon. On the packet it says to cook from frozen covered with some water in the microwave. I ...
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3answers
4k views

What's the black thing at the bottom of navel oranges?

Sometimes I'll cut into a navel orange and notice something black inside which originates at the bottom of the orange, where the navel is. What is it? I have seen it get pretty far into the fruit ...
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1answer
276 views

button mushrooms turned red while frying in butter

I fried fresh sliced button mushrooms in butter over low heat with no other ingredients. After a short while dark red areas started to appear on the sides of several slices. I never noticed anything ...
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1answer
228 views

How long Pasteurized Eggs can be refrigerated?

I routinely pasteurize eggs in batches of 12 so if I don't have time for a full breakfast in the morning, I crack a few open in a glass of milk with some protein powder. The approach I've been using ...
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2answers
570 views

Sous vide whole salmon at what temperature?

If I'm doing salmon fillets then I'll normally do 50c for 25 minutes, but a whole salmon is a different kettle of fish. I've done sous vide whole salmon on several occasions and I do 55c for 3 hours ...
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1answer
713 views

Safety of room-temperature soaker from Reinhart's *Whole Grain Breads*

One of the “tricks” used in Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is to soak various whole grains in water, at room temperature, for 12–24 hours. For example, in his “Multigrain Stuan” formula, he calls ...
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2answers
210 views

Safe to use some vanilla pods that have been fished out of another recipe?

I have used some vanilla pods that I bought on a farm in Mauritius to make crème anglaise. Because the pods are a bit special, I have fished them out of the cream and left them to dry. They smell as ...
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1answer
105 views

Food Safe 3D printed Jello Molds

I am purchasing a PLA/ABS/etc. 3D printer for various projects and a friend asked me to make a Jell-O mold. I am aware that PLA degrades into harmless lactic acid and there are Food Grade varieties ...
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1answer
454 views

Milky fluid inside chicken

I cooked a 5lb chicken at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. When we cut one side it was nice n white with clear juices. The other side had a milky fluid in it. What is it, caused it, and is it safe to eat?
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1answer
305 views

What is the shelf life of pickled gherkins stored dry?

Our almost 2 years old toddler loves oignons accompagnying pickled gherkins. Unfortunately, trying to pick one by herself, she spilled all the pickle from a brand new (commercial, pasteurized) jar. ...
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2answers
389 views

When smoking is temperature consistency more important than exact temperature?

I am smoking ribs in a charcoal smoker. The smoked rib recipe that I am following instructs smoking the ribs at 225°F. My smoker is maintaining a temperature of 215°F. I can add more lump ...
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1answer
2k views

How long can I soak dried beans before they are considered inedible?

How long (days/weeks) can beans that have only been soaked in the refrigerator last before they are considered inedible/spoiled? I found black beans in the fridge that had been soaking for approx 3 ...
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2answers
536 views

How should I interpret this expiry date?

I have a just opened plastic 4L container of cranberry juice that I bought several months ago. The expiry date on the container is 14 DE 15. I don't know if that should be interpreted as 14 Dec 2015, ...
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3answers
721 views

How long does cooked garlic keep in fridge?

I was wondering how long cooked garlic (in this case with pasta and a tiny bit of olive oil) keeps in the fridge. I always wonder about garlic (or onion) with oil but it was only a little oil. Still ...
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3answers
471 views

Better kinds of knives for elderly persons?

I'm doing research for my culminating undergrad project on what kind of knives are appropriate for elderly persons, aged about 65-75 years old, and I've got three main questions: A gerontologist ...
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3answers
549 views

Smoking pig butt: how to resume?

I set out this morning to cook a pig butt. Found out that I was going too a birthday party at such a time that the butt would smoke for six hours and then I would need to pull it. The shoulder was a ...
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6answers
552 views

What has happened to today's chicken compared to the chicken in the 1950's - 80's?

In the 1960's, 70's and up until now, my dear parents prepared their chicken the same way as have I. We bought it, washed it, cut it up, cooked it and served to family and friends who never got sick ...
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3answers
10k views

Is it safe to eat off of partially tarnished silver?

My wife and I were visiting some friends who were recently married and had received heirloom silver as a wedding present. It was obvious it had been recently polished, but some of the pieces still ...
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5answers
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Does spoiled milk make any ingredient?

Bear with me here, My roommate insist that she wants to keep her spoiled 2% milk in the fridge, it's been 1 month! That thing look disgusting. To my knowledge, you don't use rotten milk for ...
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4answers
2k views

How long can a pitcher of tap water be left out, and still be drinkable?

My parents say that flies can lay eggs in the water (we do have flies occassionally buzzing around in our apartment). Is this true? If so, what is the longest time that a pitcher of tap water could be ...
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2answers
16k views

How long can I reuse this delicious bacon grease for cooking?

I cooked some bacon about a week ago and left the grease in the pan. I've used it the last two nights with great success for cooking other meals. How long is it safe to reuse? I figure since I'm ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I reuse chopped onions?

I have a Hot Dog Stand. I use chopped onions every day, can I re use the left over chopped onions the next day? The onions are in a container that keep them cold all day long. Some days the onions ...
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7answers
22k views

What happens if I brine my turkey for 2 days?

I have a logistical problem that leaves me with no fridge room for 2 days before Thanksgiving... I always brine my turkey, so I don't have any questions about that, but typically it's only an 8 - 10 ...