Questions tagged [food-safety]

Our community answers question on food safety as defined by official regulations. Questions and answers that contradict that view, are considered off-topic.

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113 votes
12 answers
92k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, for how long is it safe to keep it out?
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104 votes
10 answers
840k views

Is it safe to eat potatoes that have sprouted?

I'm talking about potatoes that have gone somewhat soft and put out shoots about 10cm long. Other online discussions suggest it's reasonably safe and the majority of us have been peeling and eating ...
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96 votes
10 answers
244k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
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86 votes
12 answers
84k views

Are rare burgers safe?

On a recent trip to France, I had a burger that was still pink in the middle. I know this is incredibly common in France (and it was delicious!) - but, as I understand it, it would never be allowed in ...
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  • 1,044
67 votes
1 answer
73k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
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66 votes
9 answers
619k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
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64 votes
10 answers
1.0m views

Is there a problem with defrosting meat on the counter?

I generally defrost meat on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine suggested that this was dangerous and suggested that I defrost meat in the refrigerator. I am no biologist but it seems to me that as ...
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62 votes
14 answers
117k views

Why do we peel carrots?

So I was sitting there, looking down at my counter, realizing that I probably had a good carrot or two of shavings just going to waste. (well, I'll compost it, but it's non-food at that point). Is ...
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55 votes
5 answers
258k views

Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

If cooking meat kills bacteria, and bacteria are responsible for problems with eating meat which has been left out, then why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out at room temperature and ...
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  • 1,397
53 votes
9 answers
29k views

Is it safe to eat moldy cheese if you slice off the edges?

Whenever my cheese gets too old and has a bit of blue/white mold on the side, I'm not sure whether I should throw it completely out or not. Is it safe to eat if I cut off the edge? Should I cut a bit ...
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51 votes
12 answers
160k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
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50 votes
8 answers
18k views

Is it true that bananas are radioactive?

Is it true that bananas are radioactive, and if you eat too many it can kill you? If yes then how many bananas are good to eat at once.
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49 votes
4 answers
1.4m views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?
49 votes
17 answers
664k views

Is it bad to cook frozen meat without thawing it?

I wonder if it is bad to cook frozen meat (chicken, fish, beef,...) without waiting for it to thaw? Sometimes, I realize I forget to take meat out of my freezer beforehand, when I am too hungry ...
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48 votes
11 answers
225k views

Is it safe to eat smoked bacon without grilling?

The reason I ask this is due to the fact nothing on the bacon packaging indicates it can or cannot be eaten 'raw' and in general eating raw meat is a bad idea.
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48 votes
5 answers
84k views

Never ending soup; is it actually safe?

In the poor student or youth worker days it was popular to have never ending soup; a large pot on the stove that was topped up with new and leftover ingredients when available. Normally the pot was ...
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46 votes
5 answers
56k views

Why is eating pretzels safe when they are bathed in lye?

I read many recipes of pretzels and they required to dip the raw dough in a bath of lye. As anyone should know for their own safety, lye is caustic and shouldn't be ingested. What is the process ...
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44 votes
11 answers
179k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
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42 votes
14 answers
743k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
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41 votes
6 answers
182k views

Why should (or shouldn't) we wash rice before cooking?

There are pretty confusing articles on this topic on the internet. Some suggest that we should wash them to remove starch, talc, etc. Some suggest that we should not wash them because they are ...
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40 votes
5 answers
1.3m views

What temperatures should I keep my refrigerator and freezer set at?

For a refrigerator, if it's cooler, items like milk and meat last a bit longer. However if I set it close to freezing then some items start showing frost on them. What temperature should I set my ...
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37 votes
8 answers
77k views

Should I peel kiwifruit?

What should I do with the kiwi peel? I've got no problem with its taste and feel and eat them whole when I'm by myself. Is it in any way bad for my health?
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36 votes
14 answers
8k views

Nonstick cookware or not?

I am looking to replace my >10 year old Calphalon nonstick cookware. I can see the nonstick surface coming off the pans, and am starting to worry about how much of that is getting into our food. I ...
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35 votes
5 answers
51k views

How safe is steak tartare?

How safe is steak tartare? What can I do when preparing it make sure it is safe to eat?
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35 votes
1 answer
15k views

Is it safe to drink grain alcohol mixed with snake blood?

I was in Vietnam recently and I took a shot of grain alcohol mixed with blood from a freshly killed cobra. That was close to a month ago and I didn't die or get sick, but I'm wondering how dangerous ...
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34 votes
5 answers
23k views

If one tomato had molded, is the rest of the pack safe to eat?

Yesterday I bought a pack of cherry tomatoes and after arriving home I discovered that one of them had developed some impressive black mold (it was bigger than the tomato itself!). Of course, I tossed ...
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34 votes
5 answers
41k views

Is "until juices run clear" a valid test for poultry doneness? Why or why not?

I've come across this particular recommendation many times in various recipes and cookbooks and probably even given it out myself once or twice. Poultry is sufficiently cooked when the juices run ...
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33 votes
7 answers
31k views

Is it true that moldy jam/pickles are good to eat if you mix the mold into the rest of the mixture?

Everyone in my family says that when you see white mold on jam or pickled goods, you shouldn't bother with throwing away or removing the mold. All you have to do is to mix it back into the rest of ...
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33 votes
5 answers
51k views

Is it safe to boil water in a microwave?

Our electric kettle broke. So this morning I used the microwave to boil water for the first cup of coffee. Only thing is - the water in south Africa is not really the best of quality when you get it ...
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  • 1,163
33 votes
3 answers
24k views

Can mold grow in vinegar?

I found this: The bottle has a best by date of 2022 and was opened a few months ago. Is that common that mold can grow in vinegar?
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  • 787
33 votes
8 answers
36k views

Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?
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32 votes
5 answers
10k views

Can my freezer be too cold?

The FDA recommends a freezer temperature of 0˚F (-18˚C). Warmer temperatures risk bacterial growth and quality problems. But what are the reasons not to set the freezer colder? My Bosch freezer can be ...
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  • 422
32 votes
4 answers
19k views

Is it safe to eat a cooked steak that (briefly) touched the plate that was holding the raw meat?

So I just finished preparing a perfect-looking steak, and as per usual, my apartment's hypersensitive smoke detector decided to go off. Not wanting to put the steak back into the pan, in one ...
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32 votes
4 answers
8k views

How is rare steak made safe to eat?

The USDA recommends cooking many meats to an internal temperature of at least 145 °F (63 °C) to kill off pathogens. That usually works for me, but the big exception is steak. Whenever I try reaching ...
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32 votes
8 answers
701k views

My tea bags are expired, can I still use them?

This box of tea has an expiration date which has passed but I would like to know if I can still use it. What do you think?
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  • 513
32 votes
3 answers
237k views

Why doesn't Bailey's go bad?

I realize it can go bad after a long time, but why does it take so much longer than other dairy products? Does it have to do with the alcohol content? If so, what is the process that is happening?
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  • 423
32 votes
4 answers
1.7m views

How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

My wife is obsessed about not leaving uncooked meats in the fridge longer than a day (esp. Chicken). If we buy chicken breast and we're not going to use them the next day, she'll put them in the ...
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31 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why would plant-based cookie dough packaging say "Do not consume raw dough"?

I just bought some Kroger Simple Truth Plant-Based Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I always prefer to eat raw dough rather than bake the cookies. But this packaging says: DO NOT CONSUME RAW DOUGH Why ...
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31 votes
17 answers
231k views

How do I stop my fire alarm from going off when I cook?

My fire alarm always goes off when I cook, even when the food is not burning. Because of this, I have never been able to keep batteries in my fire alarms. How can I stop this from happening?
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31 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can I make a neverending Soup in an instantpot?

I'm a truck driver, and I have a minifridge, a microwave, an Instant pot, and an electric water kettle on the truck with me. I've been experimenting with various ideas on how to best feed myself. So ...
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30 votes
4 answers
126k views

Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?

Why is safe to eat some raw or undercooked meats like beef and fish (assuming you're careful), but not chicken? I know that there are bacteria in chicken, but are they in all chicken, or just so many ...
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30 votes
7 answers
113k views

What is the temperature range for food not to burn your mouth?

I'm trying to get a temperature range for knowing when food is too hot to eat. Most of what I am finding is temperature ranges for food to kill bacteria instead. For example, if I'm serving a hot ...
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30 votes
4 answers
6k views

Salad packaged with raw meat: is it safe?

Sometimes I see in supermarkets (in Italy) packages in which rocket salad is sold together with raw beef, like in this picture: This is clearly meant to be prepared in the form of tagliata con rucola,...
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30 votes
5 answers
63k views

Does meat need to be washed before preparation?

I don't even remember where I have learned that, but I've always thought it common knowledge: Before a piece of meat gets seasoned, or malleted for tenderizing (sorry, don't know the English word for ...
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  • 126k
29 votes
3 answers
10k views

Can meat spoil outside the fridge if it's baked into bread as a filling?

I made some meat buns tonight (that is, buns with cooked chicken stuffed inside them before being baked), and I'm wondering if I should bother keeping the buns inside the fridge, because that would ...
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29 votes
7 answers
488k views

How long is it safe to marinate meat?

I started marinating some almost-thawed chicken and skirt steak in the refrigerator on Monday. It's Saturday, and I still haven't gotten around to cooking the meat. Is the meat still safe to cook ...
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  • 391
29 votes
3 answers
208k views

What is the internal temperature a steak should be cooked to for Rare/Medium Rare/Medium/Well?

I'd like to know when to take my steaks off the grill and please everybody.
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29 votes
8 answers
59k views

How long is garlic butter safe, and why is it not a botulism risk like garlic in oil?

I've been making garlic butter for years, storing it for months at a time. When I read that garlic-in-oil can grow dangerous amounts of botulinum toxins after similar lengths of time, I wondered how ...
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  • 482
28 votes
8 answers
301k views

Will spoiled food always make you sick?

Kind of a strange question, but say something has spoiled, i.e. smells bad, tastes bad, etc. Will it actually always make you sick? Like for instance spoiled dressing, let's say it tastes sour, ...
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28 votes
3 answers
13k views

Food safety when tasting from dish

When making a dish, I of course taste it through out the process of cooking until its done. I have been extra careful - Each time I taste from the dish I use a new spoon - This means that I have to ...
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