Questions tagged [food-safety]

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

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110
votes
12answers
84k 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?
99
votes
15answers
769k 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 ...
87
votes
10answers
190k 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?
81
votes
12answers
45k 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 ...
67
votes
1answer
61k 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" ...
63
votes
9answers
584k 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 ...
62
votes
10answers
729k 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 ...
55
votes
13answers
110k 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 ...
50
votes
4answers
1.2m 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?
50
votes
5answers
229k 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 ...
49
votes
8answers
17k 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.
49
votes
9answers
23k 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 ...
45
votes
12answers
143k 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 ...
44
votes
5answers
34k 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 ...
44
votes
12answers
199k 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.
44
votes
11answers
161k 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?
43
votes
17answers
568k 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 ...
42
votes
14answers
725k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
40
votes
5answers
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 ...
38
votes
5answers
53k 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 ...
37
votes
7answers
75k 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?
34
votes
14answers
7k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
48k 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?
34
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
24k 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
37k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
10k 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?
33
votes
8answers
30k 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?
31
votes
5answers
47k 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 ...
31
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
124k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
1.5m 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 ...
29
votes
17answers
166k 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?
29
votes
6answers
108k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
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,...
29
votes
3answers
158k 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?
29
votes
3answers
185k 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.
28
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
35k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
246k 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, ...
27
votes
6answers
307k views

Is ground beef that was in the refrigerator for two weeks and has turned brown still usable?

I bought some ground beef around 2 weeks ago and used half of it, putting the rest in a freezer bag in my fridge (not the freezer). It has since turned brown (not red, as when I bought it). Is it ...
26
votes
8answers
31k views

Is a steak OK to eat if it fell down, but I cooked it afterwards?

If I am cooking steaks at a grill and one of them accidentally falls down on the floor/ground, is it safe for me to wipe it and cook it for a certain amount of time (till it is pretty well done) and ...
26
votes
3answers
18k views

What parasites are problematic in sous vide?

Obviously, one should use only clean ingredients. However, especially with game and river/lake fish that's rather difficult. What are parasites that should be taken into account in sous vide cooking, ...
25
votes
10answers
66k views

Can I boil eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else?

I know cooking the eggs kills the salmonella and that the risk is small even for raw eggs. However, I stopped boiling the eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else, like potatoes, when I learnt ...
25
votes
5answers
52k 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 ...
25
votes
14answers
433k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
605k views

How long is it safe to drink coffee after brewed?

How many hours/days would you recommend to drink coffee (after brewed) and consider it safe? (For example if you don't want to waste it). What is the difference if it is refrigerated or not? The ...
25
votes
10answers
119k views

Expiration Date on Milk

What does the expiration date on milk cartons mean? I have different experiences with the date: There is still about a week before the expiration date but the milk has gone bad It is 1-2 days ...
25
votes
4answers
171k views

What meats can I serve medium rare and why?

It is generally accepted that pork and chicken must be cooked completely (unless put through a strong curing process) while certain cuts of beef and lamb can be served on the rare side. Why is this? ...
25
votes
4answers
674k views

How long can cooked food be safely stored at room/warm temperature?

If I leave fully-cooked food (particularly meat) out at warm temperature - say on the counter or in a crock pot that's been turned off - how long will it stay safe to eat? Does it make any ...