I was getting take out from a restaurant yesterday when one of the workers behind the counter cut themselves. I was shocked when another worker pulled out a first aid kit, placed it on the bag my food was going to be placed in, and helped the other worker put a Band-Aid on their cut DIRECTLY OVER THE FOOD PREP AREA. This is clearly appalling behavior, but I'm not sure what to do about it. [more inside]
Home canned pickles from 2008 - yay or nay? [more inside]
Left chicken breasts in a crockpot for an hour without turning it on by accident - is it safe to eat after cooking? [more inside]
I love my tamarind paste, fish sauce, sweet potato noodles and other Asian cooking ingredients. But considering their countries of origin, and our pathetic FDA (non-)enforcement of food safety, I am concerned. Should I be? Are there any third parties that test this stuff, and is there any way to insure quality, even if it's more expensive?
Yesterday morning I opened a brand-new carton of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Beverage, had some with my cereal, and promptly left the carton on the kitchen counter for about twelve hours. When I got home and discovered my error, I immediately put it in the refrigerator again. [more inside]
I just picked what I thought was a burnt crumb off a tray of cookies and ate it. Except it turned out to be not a crumb, but a somewhat-dessicated black bean that had escaped from my dinner plate yesterday. (Not gonna win any prizes for housekeeping, I know.) I have to give a really important presentation on Monday. Is there anything I can do to reduce my chances of having given myself horrifying food poisoning? [more inside]
I'm currently in West Africa. Yesterday I bought fish from the market. The fish in the market is sold live from big basins of water, it's killed, gutted, scaled and chopped in front of the buyer. It's supposed to be sourced from the local fishery but some vendors do cut corners, raise their own fish in ponds, etc. When cooked, the fish had several little black balls, like poppy seeds, just under the skin. One or two (or three or four) were deeper into the flesh. What could those have been? Of course I'm now thinking they were tiny parasitic snails and we're all doomed. Can anyone with a working knowledge of tropical parasites and food safety venture a guess here?
It's a desperate kind of food night and I ordered Applegate Uncured Beef hot dogs to have with leftover chili. They came via Amazon Prime Now and felt room temperature. I wouldn't think twice but they caution "NOT PRESERVED, KEEP REFRIGERATED BELOW 40 DEGREES AT ALL TIMES" on the label. Does that matter if I fully cook it? Couldn't find anything on the FDA site and I'm juggling a teething baby.
For the first time in my life I'm going to cook dinner for guests tomorrow. I tested a boneless-short-ribs-in-slow-cooker recipe a few weeks ago and it came out well. But I'm worried about the timing tomorrow. [more inside]
Removed brisket from vacuum pack this AM, put it in roasting pan with dry rub, onions, and marinadey type ingredients, left in refrigerator, intended Spouse to start roasting it midday. Due to a mixup, that didn't happen. [more inside]
They say you shouldn't rinse chicken before cooking because it just spreads bacterial contamination (and I agree). But how, then, am I supposed to deal with brining chicken, which involves both dumping out raw chicken water and rinsing the raw meat? (Assume I am not interested in dry brining.) [more inside]
Food safety: when is it safe to rely on taste/smell, and when do I need to follow specific rules? [more inside]
I have some frozen ground-beef patties from Costco which are about a year-and-a-half past their best by date. They were bought frozen, stayed frozen, and haven't had any power outages. From looking around online, it doesn't look like they'll poison me (if I'm wrong though, let me know), but is it a waste of time trying to use them up? If not, what sort of things should I use them for which best minimizes freezer-burn taste?
I left some home-made pineapple syrup out all night - is it safe to use? [more inside]
We baked some pork spareribs and forgot to remove part of the plastic wrapping. Will it kill us if we eat it (the pork, not the wrapping)? [more inside]
Hi y'all. My garden is at a time when it's making one or two okra a day. Is there a way to pickle these as I go along? All the refrigerator pickle recipes I find start with boiling a brine. Would it be food-safe to fill a Reditainer with brine, then add a couple okras a day, taking the oldest one out when I wanted a pickle? [more inside]
I've tried a bunch of different loose leaf green teas, and my favorite comes from an online tea store based in China. However, by ordering directly from them, I'm bypassing European and British consumer safety regulations. If you can read Chinese -- or you know something about food safety in China -- you can help me figure out whether this is a risky purchase. [more inside]
What should I use to preserve the timbers (old and new) in my basket press? [more inside]
Help us settle a family dispute! If I cut cooked bacon with my kitchen scissors, do they pose a food safety risk if I don't wash them and just put them back in the knife block?
Can we eat the leftover fried chicken that was accidentally left in the oven overnight? [more inside]
Please reassure me that eating this questionable item is fine! I opened a jar of salsa and the left it (closed, unrefrigerated) in my backpack for a week. Oops! I've been pretty sleep-deprived of late, and so more forgetful than usual. [more inside]
So. Wednesday I felt totally fine, and baked a batch of (delicious!) cookies for a work party on Thursday. Woke up on Thursday and felt like death. Fever, chills, vomiting, the works. Slept all day and feeling pretty ok again today. Here's my question: are the cookies safe? I've eaten a few, and so has Mr. Arkham but we figure we're already exposed/immune to whatever it was. Think they are safe to share though?
I was trying to make a recipe that required pecans today, but when I went to get a bag of pecans from my freezer door, I found that the bag was strangely puffed up, as if someone had inflated it. The bag had never been opened and did not look like this when I originally put it in the freezer after purchase some months ago. Two questions: 1) What could have caused this? (Can things like botulism happen to nuts in a freezer?) 2) Would you still eat the pecans? They looked and smelled 100% normal.
My mom is coming down from Boston to NYC for Thanksgiving. Her current plan is to cook the turkey, wrap it in aluminum foil, put it in a polystyrene cooler and then drive it down to NYC on Thursday. This is setting off my warning bells about food safety. [more inside]
I have a tub of cooked and marinated Mussel meat I bought today and I have just found that most of the animals are partly filled with a dark green mealy paste-like substance that looks like mud. Is this just roe? Or is it filth? [more inside]
Food delivery company says their pre-made meals are good in the fridge for a week. This seems way too long--much longer than I would ever store homemade food. Should I trust my gut or do the professionals know something about food safety that I don't? [more inside]
I made a gluten free, wonderful pizza last night, left it on the counter covered tightly-ish with a clean dishtowel and I want to eat it for breakfast (lunch?) [more inside]
Sorry for the basicness of this question, but I don't usually cook meat and google is overwhelming. Can I keep defrosted mince in the fridge overnight? [more inside]
I want to make a beet slaw for adding to lettuce-based salad. The thing is, I'm unlikely to eat it all immediately, so I want to make a bunch, put it in a jar in the fridge and consume it over a period of weeks. I want to do this without dying of food poisoning, mold eating, or fermented beet alcohol poisoning. [more inside]
Is there any place in a residential neighborhood I'm likely to be able to pick up a food thermometer? There are two small drugstores, a small 99-cent/home goods store, and a big organic grocery. I need this by 1:00 today so I have to run out on my lunch break and see if I can find anything, but I don't want to skip my lunch to go running around to half a dozen different places if none of them are likely to have one.
Can I safely preserve my homemade peri peri sauce? [more inside]
I just plunked a whole chicken into Michael Ruhlman's quick brine. It is now sitting in a bag in my fridge. I deviated from the recipe in one big way--I used cold water rather than ice water for the cooling step. Now I am worried. [more inside]
Is it OK to eat carnitas that has been sitting out overnight? [more inside]
I had a shipment of frozen meat that was delayed by bad weather last week in Memphis. It was shipped on Thursday frozen in a styrofoam box to be delivered on Friday. Thanks to a weather delay, I didn't get it until Monday evening. The box sat in a truck in the local FedEx parking lot all day Saturday and Sunday (and probably most of Friday also). [more inside]
I will preface this by saying I am extremely paranoid about food safety. I today purchased an organic whole chicken from the grocery store. The outside of the chicken smelled great; the cavity, where the giblets were just floating around loose with reckless abandon, had a very slight off-odor, like milk and maybe old blood. I rinsed it and still got a very faint whiff. The expiration isn't for 5 more days. In an effort to be brave, I have put her in the oven anyway. Shall I eat her?
I bought some hot mango pickle at the Indian grocery store yesterday. It was packaged differently from what I've had before and I am concerned about its safety. When I've bought this same kind before it was in a glass jar with a metal lid, like other shelf-stable canned goods in jars. This time it was stored at room temperature in a glass jar, but the lid is plastic. [more inside]
We made these vegetable enchiladas last night and accidentally left them in our 60-degree kitchen for about 10 hours. The only ingredient that I'm worried about is the black beans. What say you?
I want to do a special day after Christmas dinner for myself and my boyfriend. The only thing is, I'll be in a car for 6-7 hours heading back from my parents' before I'll be back at my house. I'm looking for ideas for a festive meal that can be transported in a cooler for that long and will reheat well once I'm home, or be really tasty served cold. [more inside]
I'm planning to spend Christmas at the family home, but apparently the task of Christmas baking falls to me when I get there. I was hoping to get started early and wondered if I could make these icebox-style gingersnaps, and tuck the frozen cookie dough logs into a ziplock bag in my suitcase. Gate to gate is roughly nine hours, though at this time of year, it seems best to consider potential weather delays too.
I want to use more fruit and make it easier to process. I have composted a couple hundred pounds of fruit this summer. I hate the waste. We have a pear tree from which a certain squirrel eats half of each unripe fruit and throws the rest on the ground. Later in the season the fruit from the upper branches (30-40 feet) falls, impaling itself on twigs, or smashing on the ground, pulping a quarter of the fruit into the dirt. Some fruits have worms or slug damage after sitting on the ground. I pick what I can reach with a picker and if I am present when a ripe, un-bitten fruit falls and smashes, I eat that. But is there a better way? [more inside]
Ice cream left unrefrigerated for 8 hours. Opened and eaten from.
I just came home to find a box containing some lovely Asiago cheese, sitting in my mailbox. In Arizona, where the current temperature 101°F, and today's high was 109. It was shipped to me from Italy (straight from the town of Asiago!), about a week ago, so has spent several days in transit. This is not aged cheese, but semi-soft younger Asiago as is more common in Italy. It smelled ripe, but not unpleasant, and there was no mold or anything visible. Can I eat it? Will it kill me or make me sick? Is it likely to still taste good, even if it's technically edible? Is there anything special I can do to preserve whatever integrity of the cheese may be left? [more inside]
My sweet boyfriend just cooked me some delicious Bird's custard. I learned (after it was cooked) that the milk he used was the old one - the date on the container is 7/29. I sniffed it and it smells stinky to me. It is not lumpy. When you make the custard you do bring it up to a low boil, not sure if that will be a factor. Should I eat it? Would you eat it?
I just made this for a picnic tomorrow. Yeah, it does look awesome. The last page unequivocally states not to refrigerate. I'm a North American, I'm squeamish about things left out. I realize the English aren't fans of cold things, (beer, eggs at the grocery store, ice, etc.) but this seems like looking for trouble. Any opinions? I'm in Vancouver where the temperature is currently in the middle seventies inside the house, so a cool root cellar is available. What to do?
Is this cream-colored crystallization on top of a jar of strawberry jam mold or something else? And either way, is it still safe to eat if I spoon the stuff off? (pic)
Last night, we discovered a wasp's nest in our grill. The grill is connected to our house's natural gas lines so it isn't easily replaced. My wife sprayed the nest with Raid brand wasp and hornet spray. The active ingredients are "Prallethrin" and "Cypermethrin" and the can says the inactive ingredients include petroleum distillates. The can says to wash any food preparation surfaces that get exposed to the spray, but I worry that the grill may be difficult to adequately clean and I don't want my family ingesting dangerous chemicals. Can this grill be used again? Do you have any tips on how we can adequately clean it?
So, my meat business is spinning up. We've registered with the tax office, it's an official thing now. I've got a lot to learn, and a lot of things to figure out. We're going to be making and selling sausages, ham, smoked meats, all manner of things. Primarily we're going to be sending things online, as well as catering and possibly having a food truck to get the name out to drive the online sales. Special monkeywrench: this will all take place in Japan. [more inside]
I just frosted a cake using Martha Stewart's whipped frosting recipe, and now I'm stressing out about how to store the cake until tomorrow. Please help! [more inside]
Please help me not poison myself and my boyfriend tonight at dinner. I've checked the other fresh-mozzarella AskMes and they all seem to pertain to mozzarella left out for long periods of time. (The Google Machine renders similar results, or otherwise different circumstances.) Cheesemongers of MeFi: Can I Eat It? [more inside]
Dish of fully cooked kosher chicken parts in barbecue sauce left on kitchen counter uncovered overnight (approx 12-14 hours). The apartment isn't air conditioned, but it stays reasonably cool, so I don't think internal apartment temp got up to the 80-some degrees the outside sdid last night. Chicken bits were in a single layer in a pyrex dish. Can I eat it? My spouse threw them back in the fridge this morning. I know the FDA would recommend against, but I'm looking for the hive mind.