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33

No peeling is needed. A good wash and proper cooking will handle all of your food safety needs.


30

You don't really need a lot of tasting spoons, just one. Use your stirring spoon to pour some into your tasting spoon without touching. Or if that's too tricky, serve a bit onto a small plate/bowl. But if you're just cooking for yourself I personally wouldn't really worry about it, because in general you'll be cooking the food at a safe temperature, not ...


29

Sure it's safe. You are about to char the outside at very high temperatures, nothing's going to survive that, so cleaning it is more about flavor than safety. I wouldn't just wipe it though, clean it with water or you might get a dirtier steak flavor than you'd like.


28

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 ...


24

Any halfway competent chef should indeed be tasting. The only way to know whether you're putting up good food is to check it yourself - and you'd better be consistent if you want to continue getting paid for it. That's not to say that all chefs do, nor that there's any one standard for how frequently to taste or what method should be used. It's pretty ...


23

Yes, chefs and cooks taste the food they prepare; even an experienced chef will do this, mostly to check seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.). However, most experienced cooks will taste less and will know how to tweak the preparation without having to constantly taste and re-taste. Cooks usually use spoons - tons of spoons - to taste food when they prepare it. ...


21

Well, I can tell you with absolute authority that polystyrene melts in the microwave. Here's a chunk of polystyrene cut from a foam shipping container. I double checked with the website (Propak), and the stuff is polystyrene. I placed a random chunk of chicken on the cube, and microwaved on high for 1 minute. So yeah, it melts. Is it toxic if it ...


20

This article indicates that it's probably gall bladder bile: The gall bladder [...] sometimes [...] breaks even when you are cleaning the fish very carefully and close to the skin. If the gall bladder is broken, the greenish yellow biliary fluid pours immediately out into the inside of the fish and starts to absorb into the meat. The meat becomes bitter. ...


19

According to The Brewing Network, industrial and food grade CO2 generally come from the same plants: The slight difference between industrial-grade CO2 and food-grade CO2 is the type of tests that are done to qualify CO2 as beverage or beer gas-grade compared to industrial-grade. Currently, the FDA's requirement for food-grade CO2 a 99.90% purity rating. ...


17

I'm interested in the common practice in commercial settings (I have a small home-cooking business, and I want to align myself with the norm in restaurants etc..) Since this hasn't specifically been addressed yet, I'll throw in my experience in industrial kitchens/restaurants. Plastic spoons. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Literally. We had a ...


17

Virtually every case of botulism ever recorded in the past 50 years is due to improper home canning. The risk of botulism from a commercial product is so low that you literally have a better chance of being struck by lightning and almost as good a chance as being struck twice in the same year. There are 145 cases reported in the U.S. each year and 65% of ...


15

At a microscopic level metal is malleable, and so the edge tends to bend rather than spall or break off. Still, it is probably technically true to a certain extent, and based on many many years of metal knife usage by millions or billions of people through history, completely irrelevant. Whatever effect it may have is vanishingly small.


15

If the words "Keep Refrigerated" are on the label, and the ham was kept on the shelf for weeks or months, the only answer I can responsibly give is that you should call poison control: 1-800-222-1222 in the USA. If you're not in the USA, Google "Poison Control (your location)" or call a medical professional. Since you've already eaten it and we can't assure ...


14

Assuming the can was canned properly and has not been damaged, the contents are effectively sterile, because the food is boiled in the can after it's sealed. There might be some degradation in texture and taste, but in terms of food safety, they are effectively safe. Note that the date on your tin is given as Best Before, not Use By. That generally means ...


13

There are three major properties an edible fat (I am assuming you are not asking about inedible oils like petroleum based products) has that affect how it is best used: Flavor Saturation Smoke point Properties Flavor The flavor of the fat is very important. So called neutral oils (like canola oil or refined grapeseed oil, or refined peanut oil, among ...


13

This depends completely on the context. Are you at a grill in let's say.. Outback Steakhouse? If so, please throw it away. Are you at a social event or home cooking for yourself/others? clean it off with water and you're good, maybe even feed it to someone you don't like afterwards (unless it's the biggest and best steak, then you gotta eat it.)


12

The University of Ohio extension publishes a clever tip: Place two or three ice cubes in a plastic freezer bag and seal. Keep this in the freezer at all times. In an upright freezer, you can have a test bag on each shelf. If there is a power outage you will know if the interior temperature was above 32°F if the cubes melt. If the cubes are melted, ...


11

When carrots turn black, it is almost always caused by rot. I would definitely not eat them.


11

Microscopic metal particles won't hurt you. The iron in fortified breakfast cereal is just food-grade iron particles. You can collect them with a magnet.


11

Certainly cooks should taste their food as they go, especially if they're making something they haven't made many times before. "Double-dipping" is common (even in commercial kitchens). It's the kind of thing a lot of people do, but no one wants to get caught doing it. This question is related: Food safety when tasting from dish, and you might find the ...


11

According to the USDA: If packaging is accidentally cooked in a conventional oven, is the food safe to eat? Plastic packaging materials should not be used at all in conventional ovens. They may catch on fire or melt, causing chemical migration into foods. Sometimes these materials are inadvertently cooked with a product. For example, giblets ...


11

@niemiro, in your post does "go bad" mean food quality or food safety? As for safety, you were no where near the "danger zone" either temperature-wise or time-wise. Initially safe, properly stored, frozen food that warms to -6C (or 22 F) for 30 minutes will not render it unsafe to eat. In terms of food quality, freezers (most of which these days are ...


11

Absolutely no peeling necessary. In addition to the above advice, if you (or anyone else) is overly concerned about 'germs' and the like on the skin, use a small plastic-bristled scrub brush to clean the potatoes properly under running water. I usually don't, unless they are really gritty from the field or have huge divots on the surface where water may not ...


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 ...


9

The only thing that is even remotely possible in my mind is to use it akin to buttermilk or sour cream (which are intentionally fermented products) in baking. However, since the culture that fermented the milk was uncontrolled, I would not do so. I recommend discarding.


9

I did this in my restaurant for years, it really does work great. Make your rice in a huge batch, cook it as if you're planning to eat it then, but then let it cool until handlable. Once it is cool enough, bag it in individual servings and freeze it. Refrigerating cooked rice quickly ruins it, freezing it, however, works great. If your servings are fairly ...


9

There are two different issues, which have separate drivers. There are no specific rules, just consequences of the thaw and freezing cycles on each food--but it is always better to minimize the number of cycles to maintain quality. Safety From a safety point of view, the rule is any perishable food (one that is not fairly stable at room temperature such ...


9

It depends on what it is likely to pick up. If it's an interior floor surface that is usually kept clean, you're unlikely to suffer any ill effects. If it's outside on the ground next to the gas grill and you regularly fertilize/pesticide/herbicide the lawn, or sealed/stained your deck/concrete recently, or have a number of animals that use the space as a ...


8

Capsaicin, the active ingredient that makes chili peppers hot, is not soluble in water, but it does dissolve in fat or alcohol. BTW, it is not an acid, but is a complex chemical similar to the main flavoring in vanilla; it directly stimulates the nerves. While washing your hands in vodka might be a little extravagant, you might try vegetable oil, and then ...


8

Soured milk stays good for a long time (similarly to cheeses) - pretty much until mold starts forming. It is a common drink in Eastern Europe, and production is very simple - essentially "happens by itself": if you leave fresh, non-boiled, non-pasteurized milk in room temperature for a couple days, it turns into soured milk. It's used as ingredient for a few ...



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