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27

It is absolutely untrue and very dangerous to think that "if it looks OK, and smells OK, it must be OK." If that were the case, food poisoning would be very rare. Food that we can sense is spoiled rarely causes illness. For one thing what you don't eat can't hurt you and people generally won't eat food that looks or smells spoiled. But less obviously, much ...


19

There has been thorough scientific research done on this question. The main problem with Alton Brown's recommendation is that his room temperature "rest" is not long enough, since the scientific literature recommends 24-72 hours at room temperature, depending on acid concentration. The most common acids used in mayonnaise recipes are acetic acid ...


16

I'll go ahead and take a stab at answering this, even though the question is a bit vague. I assume by "cook" you mean "cook with a non-microwave method", like boiling, steaming, baking, frying, sauteeing, or anything else. First of all, no, I can't think of any reason why microwaves would be worse than any other cooking method. If you fully cook something ...


10

I fully endorse the "when in doubt, throw it out" doctrine, although I personally wouldn't consider a sweet taste to be doubt. As rfusca wisely points out, you can't taste or smell several kinds of contamination, and the ones that you can taste or smell, are usually sour, bitter, or generally pungent. I suggest you have a look at the following question: Is ...


10

Microwaves do not kill bacteria, heat kills bacteria. The higher the temperature, the faster those bacteria will die off. "Instant death" for most bacteria (including salmonella) is about 160° F (71° C). You only need a few seconds at this temperature. The notoriously strict USDA recommends 160° F for egg dishes but is considerably more lax about whole eggs ...


9

Microwave ovens do not cook food very evenly. This is improved by the turntable, but unless the food is stir-able and you stir it, the food will have hot and cold spots. Most people seem to overcook food and then let it rest for the heat to even out Most other cooking methods are slower than microwave cooking, so this give time for heat to conduct through ...


8

Unless your hot water tank is very close to your hot water tap, this is a very energy inefficient. As Jefromi notes it would be faster to boil water in a electric kettle first, and then pour it into the pan. Put the pan on the heat at the same time if you are really in a hurry Hot water systems are normally hot enough (above 55°C, 130°F) to keep water borne ...


6

The USDA suggests that "all plastic and wooden cutting boards wear out over time. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, they should be discarded." Other advice they offer for avoiding food contamination from cutting boards: Avoid Cross-Contamination The Meat and Poultry Hotline says that consumers may use wood or ...


5

How do you know, by taste, if anything is bad? You don't, you can't. The bacteria that grow and make you sick may be odorless and tasteless. "When it doubt, throw it out."


5

There are a variety of theories about what the most important factors are to control the sourness of a sourdough bread. Many times you will find conflicting evidence from different sources. General Considerations Some starters are naturally more sour. Some organisms produce more tart flavors, while others produce buttery notes. Some combinations of ...


4

The frozen pre-cooked shrimp are of course safe to eat if they come from a reputable source. You may wish to cook them a little bit to heat them up to service temperature, and integrate them with a sauce or spices or so on, but you could just peel and eat them if you wanted to. The shrimping industry may have some variation in how it processes shrimp after ...


4

The simple rule is that if a cutting board has obvious damage to the surface, it's probably unsafe to continue using it. The most common such damage is scratches or grooves worn in by your knives, or actual cracks in the material, but any kind of narrow damage is bad; it's hard to effectively clean and can indeed harbor bacteria. The exception is wider ...


4

If the food had reached a temperature of 21 C for an unknown amount of time, you should definitely discard it. See: How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat? As a more general rule, there really is no way to provide a definitive answer; it depends on your specific refrigerator, the cooling power it has, how much air was able to ...


3

Forever is a long time. Eventually a microbe that has thermophylic tendencies will colonize the simmering pot, and survive to reproduce Natural selection will take its course. We know this is possible due to the fauna that inhabit thermal vents on the ocean floors, and the hot geysers in Yellowstone. Even if the chance of this happening is a billion to ...


3

Only a half answer, but particularly with meat, you're really risking contaminating other things in your fridge. It's dangerous for that reason alone, so I wouldn't even bother worrying about whether the meat itself spoils faster, since I'd be worried about everything else in the fridge.


3

Since sourdough is a wild culture, I think you'll have a hard time controlling the acidity very precisely. Foods fermented with wild yeast or lactobacillus cultures are always subject to chance, and they tend to find their own equilibrium. That said, I did find this article that recommends regular, careful feeding of your starter as the best way to control ...


3

As a student of medicine I've never heard of any condition similar to the one you describe, but then there are still a lot of diseases, conditions and genetic prepositions unknown to man (and to medicine students). First I thought, it might be an allergic reaction to poultry proteins, but our skin normally doesn't have many immune cells on the outside (but ...


3

I was told by a cheese merchant who sold me the culture and rennet, to store the culture in the freezer, and the rennet in the fridge. I hadn't used it in more than two years and it's still alive and working. (as tested a few weeks ago)


2

You ned to get your hands on a computer fan (they are designed to run 24hrs a day). I simply mounted one of these inside wall of my curing chamber (down low - as wet air drops), cut a hole in the wall of the fridge with a hole saw - which allows the fan to exhaust the moist air from within the curing chamber. I also cut a similar sized hole at the top of ...


2

I have a vent in my curing chamber that's an old refrigerator converted over.I used a metal dryer vent and caulked the perimeter once installed, i also leave the metal flap open a bit with a magnet. This allows circulation of air inside of the chamber via the fan. I have a steady 58 degrees with 70% RH.


2

Lactobacillus acidophilus is the main culture contained in yogurt. Although it eats many types of sugars, it's biproduct is mainly lactic acid and whether it reduces oligosaccharides is largely unknown. "...little information is available on FOS transport and metabolism by lactic acid bacteria and other probiotic bacteria." ...


2

"How do I make gluten-free bread?" is a question that's answerable simply by searching for "gluten-free bread recipes". The key to those recipes is that they start from a gluten-free flour, and take some steps to ensure that there's enough structure to hold the bread together despite the lack of gluten. There's a bit of variety in gluten-free flours; the ...


2

Under certain conditions, some microorganisms used to make bread can digest proteins. This isn't desirable, as it will generate lots of off flavors and not properly leaven the dough. It is especially undesirable for gluten-free baking, as the organisms will digest protein indiscriminately, not targeting gluten. While, they may break down some of the gluten, ...


2

There is no practical difference in spoilage time for wrapped versus unwrapped. Spoilage is a factor pretty much of temperature, since in practice, all foods have pathogens present which can breed. Assuming your refrigerator is free of insects, dogs and similar macro-fauna, wrapping is to prevent odors from going from one food to another, drying, or ...


2

Crystallized (or Stem) ginger preserved in honey is a known thing. Shelf-life is supposed to be about 3 months for the homemade kind, and I'd say twice that (at a minimum) for store bought...Those are both pretty conservative. It should have been properly prepared/canned at the start, which would reduce the possibility of some nasty microbial infestation, ...


2

Storing ginger, an underground rhizome, which has a significant chance of having botulism spores present in an low-oxygen environment in honey is probably a very poor idea. The honey certainly will not be sufficiently acidic to inhibit the growth of the bacterium and the production of its toxin. I cannot guess what the precipitate you see is, but I would ...


1

Garlic butter should be safer because you make it by chopping up garlic and cooking it in butter. The cooking reduces the water content in the garlic to low enough levels that botulism bacteria should no longer an issue. The garlic in oil issue is that at the water content and pH of garlic, oil blocks the oxygen, allowing the anaerobic bacteria to thrive. ...


1

Same answer as always: you don't want to eat any perishable food or food for which any part has spent more than about 4 hours cumulative over its lifetime in the danger zone (40 - 140 F, 4 - 60 C). Do you know how the pizza place treated the calzones before you even received it? It may have been sitting on a shelf at room temperature for an hour or two at ...


1

If you're using pasteurised eggs, you should be fine.


1

Not necessarily: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/health/22real.html?_r=1 However my guess is that the heat generated by a microwave would be hot enough to kill most of the bacteria (backed up by some of the research in this article: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2947/do-microwave-ovens-kill-bacteria), so as long as it's a fresh egg the risk of ...



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