I noticed that when I was cooking stir fry, I used the same flipper throughout. This means when I put the meat in, the flipper came in contact with the uncooked meat and got some blood on it. Is this a problem considering it touches vegetables that go in much later? Should a different flipper be used half way through the cooking process?

  • 2
    I thought this post was written by a dolphin at first. I was super impressed.
    – Preston
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:27
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    @Preston Me too. I've proposed an edit to spatula. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 15:22
  • @starsplusplus a flipper is different than a spatula
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 21:42
  • @Celeritas In the US at least, people call these spatulas, along with the completely different utensil for mixing/scraping in a bowl.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 16:08
  • @Jefromi interesting, I think in Canada there is a distinction and I think there is some confusion. A long time ago I worked at Home Hardware and a lady asked for a spatula and I took her and pointed out what I thought was it but then noticed the label above was "flipper" and a spatula was something different.
    – Celeritas
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


Depends on how paranoid you are.

Technically: Yes, you should be using a different utensil once the meat is cooked. Any contact with raw meat carries a contamination risk, and you can't guarantee the utensil will be heated enough to "cook" it.

If you want to be as safe as possible, reverse the cooking order you're using - stir-fry the veggies first, set them off to the side, then cook the meat, then mix the veggies in again and use a fresh utensil to finish (or wash the current one.) This ensures that the veggies and second utensil only have contact with cooked meat.

Personally? I don't worry about it beyond the obvious - I make sure I rinse the utensil off somewhere in there with some hot (and usually soapy) water, immerse it in the cooking liquid for a bit if applicable, etc. It's not the safest way of going about things, but it strikes a good balance (for me) between risk and convenience. YMMV, obviously.

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