Health Safety In Skills
Page 6
Here’s Why People Are Freaking Out About White Stripes on Chicken Meat
Raw chicken breast meat is usually a pale shade of lightly translucent pink. But if you’ve been paying attention to the meat you buy, then chances are you’ve occasionally noticed a few extra white stripes on your protein. While seemingly harmless, an animal welfare group is advising consumers to be wary of chicken with “white striping” present, reports Buzzfeed. White striping on chicken meat reflects a muscle disorder.
Feb 8, 2017
What’s That White Sap in Romaine Lettuce?
Cut or break the bottom of a leaf of romaine lettuce and you may see a strange milky liquid seep out from the stem where it broke off. While it may look a bit ominous, there’s no need for alarm. The white sap is a milky fluid made of latex that’s naturally found in the lettuce and is completely harmless.
Aug 2, 2016
What’s That Waxy Coating on Blueberries?
You know what I’m talking about. At one time or another, whether on the blueberries you picked yourself or grabbed at the store, you’ve probably noticed a dull grayish-white waxy coating surrounding your berries. Perhaps you’ve simply wiped it away before diving into your berry haul. But do you have any guesses as to what it might be? This pale coating that leaves berries a dusky shade of blue is called bloom.
Jun 8, 2016
7 Things You Should Never Put in the Blender
Expanding the way you make use of the blender can be a game-changer. (Say goodbye to store-bought hummus!) However, while the powerful engine and blades of a blender can handle a lot of things, there are a few things that shouldn’t make their way into this appliance. Here are seven items you shouldn’t toss in your blender.
Apr 1, 2016
What’s the Difference Between Natural Release and Rapid Release for Pressure Cookers?
Natural release and rapid release are two common methods used to depressurize a pressure cooker once active cooking is complete. While some recipes indicate which method to use, many don’t, and the method you choose can have a big impact on the food inside. Here’s what you need to know. In short, pressure cookers use steam pressure that builds up inside the closed pot to cook food.
Mar 22, 2016
Is It Safe to Cook with the Flour I Use to Bread Fried Chicken?
Q: I was wondering about frying chicken. I use a resealable bag to put my flour in, along with my spices, and then I shake my chicken pieces in it. There seems to be a lot of flour left after I am through shaking; is this same flour OK to use in my chicken gravy? It just seems to be a waste to throw it out. I’ve been doing this for most of my life and I have always wondered if it would be OK. I always forgot to ask my mother and grandmother, and now they are both gone.
Mar 18, 2016
What’s the Deal with Blue Ginger?
Have you ever sliced into a knob of ginger to find a faint blue-green ring circling the perimeter? Don’t be alarmed — your ginger isn’t bad. In fact, there are a few reasons why your ginger might appear blue, and none about them are bad. How blue is your ginger?
Feb 26, 2016
What’s Your Best Advice for Eating More Vegetables?
Since we’re kicking off a new year and it’s as good a time as any to make some confessions, I have a big one: I often go days without vegetables in my diet. Now, I’m a full-fledged grownup (over 35) and a parent — and I even consider myself a moderately healthy eater. I eat minimal sweets, choose protein-heavy snacks, and shun as many added ingredients as possible. I’ve certainly come a long way from my teenage and college ways.
Jan 20, 2016
Cut Calories in Rice with This Surprising Method
Rice is a very important grain. It is the number-one staple food in dozens of countries, providing an inexpensive and readily available source of energy. In fact, 20 percent of the world’s dietary energy comes from rice. It is nutritious — but it is far from perfect due to its high starch content. Here’s why that’s an issue — and a surprising way to actually mitigate rice’s less-healthy aspects with one simple, surprising cooking method.
Jan 15, 2016
Are Eggs with Blood Spots Safe to Eat?
From the, “Seriously gross, but I gotta know,” category of cooking questions, we have: Is that weird reddish splotch really … blood? Is my egg safe to eat? How did that get in there anyway? Let’s put some of these worries to rest. Here’s what the blood spot is all about. Yes, a blood spot is indeed a spot of blood.
Nov 6, 2015
What Foods Make You Feel Better When You’re Sick?
The end of daylight savings last weekend marked the beginning of shorter days, cooler weather, and yes, flu season. Word has it that flu season is expected to ramp up this month, which means it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to take care of yourself if you get sick — or even, if you just get a cold! So, readers, tell us: What do you eat and drink to comfort yourself when you’re sick?
Nov 2, 2015
The 5 Safety Rules of Slow Cookers
I have been cooking meals in my slow cooker regularly for the past 18 years (and writing about it for the past seven!). It’s accurate to say that I love my slow cooker. Err, slow cookers; I currently have 14 in the house, and try to use a slow cooker for our main meal four to five times a week. I get emails every week with questions about slow-cooker cooking, and many of them are about using slow cookers safely. You have questions? I have answers!
Oct 5, 2015
5 Food Safety Tips for Your Lunch Box
Whether you’re packing a lunch for the office or lunch for the kids, you want to make sure you pack the right foods properly to help prevent food-borne illnesses. We talked to Katie Morford, registered dietitian and author of the book Best Lunch Box Ever, to share her tips on how to safely pack lunches so you keep everyone healthy and happy! “Avoid putting certain foods in lunch boxes altogether.
Aug 28, 2015
What’s Considered Perishable Food?
It’s important to know how long foods can be stored and the right ways to store them — especially for perishable foods — but how exactly is the term “perishable food” defined, and which foods fall under this category? Perishable foods are items that aren’t safe to eat unless they’re kept refrigerated at 40°F or below, or frozen at 0°F or below.
Aug 21, 2015
Is It Safe to Use Plastic Wrap in the Microwave?
When cooking or reheating food in the microwave, you have a quite a few options — like paper towels, a plate, microwave-safe lids, or plastic wrap — for covering it. But is the last option, plastic wrap, actually safe to use in the microwave? If so, what’s the best way to do it? I like making sure my food’s covered in the microwave to both contain any possible splatter, as well as keep moisture in so the food doesn’t dry out.
Aug 11, 2015
Are Tomato Leaves Actually Poisonous?
It’s commonly believed that the leaves on a tomato plant are poisonous, so we often discard or avoid them. But is that really true, or simply an exaggerated tale that’s managed to stick around? Are we wasting a perfectly edible part of this plant? Wariness about tomato leaves stems, in large part, from the plant’s status as part of the nightshade family.
Aug 3, 2015
How Many Times Can I Reheat Food?
If you have a big pot of soup or a lot of leftover casserole, you can pat yourself on the back that you’ve now got a quick meal waiting in the fridge. But just how many times can you reheat those leftovers safely? As long as you reheat the leftovers to at least 165°F each time, the food’s technically safe to eat.
Jul 31, 2015
Genes May Be a Factor in How We Taste Sugar
Just as some people have the genes that make them more sensitive to bitter flavors, scientists have discovered that the same applies to one of the other tastes: sweet. Researchers asked subjects, both twins (with the idea that twins have at least half to almost all of the same genes) and non-twins, to rate the sweetness intensity of two natural and two artificial sugars.
Jul 28, 2015
What Are Some Healthy Portable Meals That Don’t Need to Be Refrigerated?
Q: I’m a surgical resident and I’m frequently on call at the hospital with little time to spare in between cases, so I rarely get to sit down to eat dinner (even a quick one!). The only fridge is nowhere near the ORs, plus there isn’t usually time to run down and heat up food to eat. On the off chance there is time between cases, its usually a greasy, expensive meal from the cafeteria.
Jul 23, 2015
The War Against GMOs Is Full of Fraud, Says Journalist
The public debate on genetically modified seeds and crops runs high with feelings. When it comes to this line of science and our food, what is healthy, and what should be avoided? Journalist William Saletan spent a year researching the field and came to the conclusion that the anti-GMO rhetoric is not doing us any favors. This is a long, intensely researched and argued piece, and it’s excellent reading for all sorts of reasons.
Jul 16, 2015
The Right Internal Temperature for Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are sold fully cooked, so do you need to grill or heat them? While they are generally safe to eat as is for most people, there are some food safety guidelines to keep in mind when you’re cooking hot dogs. There are some people (pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems) who are more at-risk for food-borne illnesses like listeriosis. Heating hot dogs until they are steaming hot will help kill listeria.
Jul 3, 2015
Do You Know What Gluten Actually Is?
Gluten is a word in action these days, popping up on labels at the grocery store, in the news, and all over the Internet. Many of us have even chosen to eliminate gluten from our diets — but I have to ask: Do you really know what gluten is? Here’s a guide to the science of gluten and what that little word actually means. A bread dough that is just mixed, and that you haven’t kneaded at all, looks completely different after you’ve slaved over it for 10 minutes.
Jun 24, 2015
The Vegetable Butcher Explains Why You Should Always Wash Your Produce
I know it can seem tedious, even annoying, to have to wash produce before you cook. Sometimes it feels like such a chore, an extra step, before you can get dinner on the table. However, whether you cook it or use it raw, produce always needs washing. A good scrub, run, or shake under water, followed by a thorough rinse, will remove dirt, grit, and sand that can affect the quality, texture, and taste of your finished dishes.
Jun 7, 2015
The Best Place to Thaw Frozen Food
There are lots of ways to thaw frozen food: you can put it in the refrigerator, run it under cold water, leave it out on the counter, or even use the defrost setting on your microwave. Which method is the best and safest one to use? The refrigerator is the safest method of thawing food because it keeps the food out of the “Danger Zone” (temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria multiplies rapidly) the whole time it is defrosting.
May 15, 2015
Is It Still Safe to Eat Soup That Was Frozen Uncovered?
Q: Inspired by all the freezer talk, I went ahead and froze some minestrone soup. I used a quart-sized plastic food storage container (similar to a yogurt container). I froze the soup three weeks ago. When I went to move the container to the fridge to thaw, I saw that, somehow, the lid had come off in the freezer, leaving the soup exposed. I don’t know when this happened. Is my soup consumable? Or should I toss it, lesson learned, and buy some different containers?
Apr 27, 2015
How Refrigeration Determined What We Eat and Where We Live
Imagine summertime without ice cream, or an ice-cold lemonade. No chilled wine or cold beer can be found — anywhere. It’s horrible and downright post-apocalyptic, like something Tina Turner sings the theme song to. But a world quite similar to this existed, mere centuries ago. Refrigeration is not only responsible for what you eat, but probably also where you live, which is why it’s next on my list of the five all-time most important food science breakthroughs!
Apr 15, 2015
Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell Funny
We all talk about how happy we are that fresh asparagus is finally back in season. We buy it in bundles and rave about all the ways we’re cooking and eating it. But you know the one thing no one talks about when it comes to asparagus? The way it makes your pee smell. We think about it when it happens, but it’s not something we really talk about. But it’s totally normal, and there’s an interesting reason why it happens! The smell comes from asparagusic acid.
Apr 14, 2015
How Canning Was Invented, and How It Changed the Way We Eat
This week I’m talking through five of the greatest breakthroughs in food science, from fermentation to today’s topic: canning. Because seriously, when was the last time you considered Louis Pasteur, or how canned food was discovered? It’s been a while. These days we’re preoccupied by health fads, gluten-free eating, and vegan alternatives.
Apr 14, 2015
Baking with Sprouted Flour: 3 Tips
Advice from: Peggy Sutton of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. Read the series → Part One, Part Two, Part Three If you placed a mound of conventional flour and sprouted flour side by side, you might not be able to tell, just by looking, which was which. But Peggy Sutton, owner of To Your Healthy Sprouted Flour, insists that your taste buds would be able to discern the difference. Ready to try your hand at baking with sprouted flour? Here are three tips for making the most of it.
Mar 26, 2015
Can I Reuse the Water from Poaching Chicken?
Q: I prepared your How To Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time and they are perfect. At the end of the cooking and resting time, there is some tasty-looking liquid left over. Can that be used as stock? I am a new cook. Sent by Jeanne Editor: Sure, you could definitely reuse that liquid! It will be a bit thinner and less rich than a full-on chicken stock, but it would be great for cooking rice or as a weeknight soup base.
Jan 16, 2015
For Healthy Wok Cooking, Start with Bacon
Healthy cooking starting with bacon? Seems counterintuitive, right? But it’s actually one of the best ways to get your new or old wok seasoned so that you can move on to healthy quick cooking instead. We love wok cooking here at The Kitchn because you can use it to cook vegetables and proteins quickly with small amounts of oil, just the sort of cooking we like to do in January after the holidays.
Jan 8, 2015
Are Honeybees Still Disappearing?
A few years ago there was a state of emergency in the beekeeping world. Bees were disappearing by the millions. Where were they going? Any why? Did colony collapse signal the end of agriculture as we know it? Now, you don’t hear so much about disappearing bees. What’s happening?
Sep 29, 2014
What Are Some Healthy, Make-Ahead Portable Meals?
Q: I’m having a very busy week coming up, with work all day then my husband and I volunteering with neighborhood kids all evening. I will be driving directly from work to volunteer. Flop into bed at night and repeat seven days a row. I will have about 20 minutes for dinner as a break in the volunteering. I’ll have access to a sink and microwave, but no fridge or stove. My question is what can I make ahead (a week ahead) that is reasonably healthy and portable?
Aug 7, 2014
Is My Grandma’s Method for Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs Safe?
Q: I recently moved into my very first apartment post-undergrad, and my mother and grandmother have been stopping by to teach me family recipes and I am so grateful. However, there is some tension over the proper way to make spaghetti sauce. Help! My grandmother puts her raw meatballs and sausage in the sauce that simmers on the stove for hours. My mother on the other hand says that’s terrible for my health, and all meat should be cooked prior to adding into the sauce.
Jun 13, 2014
Will Stinging Nettles Really Sting You?
I was wary of stinging nettles for quite a while. Until just the other week, in fact. There was always something about the sign marked ‘DANGER’, perched in front of the bin of nettles at the farmers market, that kept me away. Not to mention their painful-sounding name. I mean, stinging nettles…not exactly the most friendly-sounding name. So, will stinging nettles really sting you? Yes, and no.
May 30, 2014
Food Safety: How To Pack For a Picnic
Packing for a picnic might seem like a breeze since, unlike a barbecue, there’s no on-site cooking or raw meat involved. But since you’re traveling and eating outside without the convenience of refrigeration, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re loading up the picnic basket to pack it safely. You still need a cooler. Pack your cute picnic basket with non-perishable food, napkins, and dinnerware, but pack all perishable items in an insulated cooler with ice packs.
May 23, 2014
What Are Some Filling, Healthy Meals I Can Pack for My Hungry Husband?
Q: My husband has a very active metabolism. He eats all the time and cranks through food while he works 12 hours a day. This obviously has taken a toll on our food budget and he ends up turning to fast food for a quick fix. He can only carry so much and meals that must stay cold aren’t an option because he is on the road. What are some healthy meals I can make that will help keep him fed and satisfied all day long?
Mar 12, 2014
How Not To Die From Botulism
aciditytemperature → See it full size: How Not To Die From Botulism at Northwest Edible Life Recipes that have been tested for proper acidity and temperature may be found from sources like the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the So Easy To Preserve cookbook, the Ball cookbooks, and your local University Extension office. When using canning recipes from other cookbooks and blogs, it’s a good idea to make sure the author exercises food safety principles.
Aug 13, 2013
How Many Times Can I Reuse a Marinade?
Sent by Vivian Editor: According to, you should only use a marinade once and then either discard it or boil it to kill the harmful bacteria and use it as a sauce. If you’re freezing and re-using the marinade, I would assume that the levels of harmful bacteria would increase with every re-use, which would in turn increase the risk to your health.
Aug 2, 2013
Faith’s Healthy Travel Snack: Sugar Snap Peas! (And Blueberries.)
This past weekend I roadtripped it from Ohio to Atlanta, where my sister got married in a country field in the sunshine, and where we swatted mosquitoes and drank beer out of Mason jars and had an altogether lovely time. For the trip down, I wanted to stay refreshed and stave off the munchies with something tasty but light. Thus I discovered my new favorite travel snack — the perfect little bundle of green. Sugar snap peas!
Jun 4, 2013
Help! I Accidentally Left Food Out All Night! Is It Still Good?
Sent by Heather Editor: Oh, I feel your pain! Technically speaking and if this were a restaurant situation, your pork was in the “danger zone” (between 40°F to 140°) for longer than recommended and should be tossed. This said, you could also re-heat the dish to above 140°F to kill any nasties and be ok eating it.
Feb 20, 2013
Why Do We Eat More in The Winter?
The past few weeks have been pretty rough for me and my cat. We both seem to have an insatiable appetite, wanting another snack or bite to eat just minutes after the last. What’s going on? Is it the cold winter? Is it the gray skies? Or is it an expanded stomach that has got too accustomed to gingerbread and fudge? I had to find out.“Meow.” That’s my cat again, begging for another treat when usually her normal eating routine will do.
Jan 17, 2013
Apartment Kitchen Disaster: How To Stop a Blaring Smoke Detector (And Keep It Off!)
It’s a party nightmare: guests have arrived, the food is in the oven, and all of a sudden the smoke detector starts going off. Besides assigning a guest the task of frantically flapping a towel in front of the smoke alarm, what else can you do? Try this easy tip to keep your cooking alarm free.It’s happened in every apartment I’ve lived in.
Dec 11, 2012
Fact or Fiction: Does Cooking Vegetables in the Microwave Destroy The Nutrients?
Have you ever been told that microwaving vegetables depletes their nutritional value? Anytime you cook a vegetable (regardless of the method) there is usually some nutrient loss, but the belief held by some is that microwaves destroy up to 90 percent of the nutrients in the food, whereas stovetop cooking can be as low as 10 percent. But is it true?
Oct 3, 2012
Healthy in a Hurry: 6 Ways to Use Leftover Cooked Grains
Making big batches of grains and refrigerating or freezing the leftovers1. Add them to soups. Chewy whole grains add a new textural dimension and extra nutrition to any type of soup or stew. Beyond chicken and rice, try barley in split pea soup or farro in a hearty minestrone.2. Toss them in salads. You can either use cooked grains as the basis for a hearty grain salad, or add grains to a vegetable- or bean-based salad, like this chickpea, barley and zucchini ribbon salad.3. Bulk up frittatas.
Sep 14, 2012
A Word to Fear: Hangry!
Emma used the word hangry in her recipe for granola bars earlier today, and it made me think about this very helpful word, a word to signal impending storm clouds and danger, a word to fear. Do you get hangry?! What happens when you do? Oh — not familiar with the term? Let me bring you up to speed. This is a word you should know.Hangry is a word to describe the glowering state of hunger that has passed the pleasant edge of anticipation.
Sep 11, 2012
Quick Tip: How to Tell if Eggs Are Good
It comes up in our house a lot. I’m guessing it might in yours, too. It goes something like this: one of us is holding up X ingredient to the other asking, “do you think this is still good?” What follows is a delicate dance of sniffing, staring, scratching our heads and making a quick decision that’s often more guess than certain knowledge. But with eggs, that decision can be much easier. Now if you’ve ever encountered a really bad egg, you’d know.
Sep 4, 2012
The Tomato Has More Genes Than Humans
The tomato genome has been decoded! Plant geneticists from 14 different countries spent the last nine years mapping the genetic makeup of the tomato, and have discovered that the tomato contains 31,760 genes – that’s 7,000 more genes than a human being! The tomato’s genome is actually closer to that of a potato. (The two plants share 92 percent of their DNA.) Why map the tomato genome at all?
Jun 1, 2012
Healthy & Hearty Breakfast Idea: Egg Baked In an Avocado
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so let’s take a moment to appreciate one of food’s great partnerships: avocado and eggs. We’ve tried adding avocado to scrambled eggs or using mashed avocado in place of mayonnaise in an egg salad, but this idea is a new one: baking an egg directly in an avocado half!Basically, you remove the pit from a halved avocado, hollow out a little more space if needed, and crack an egg into the hollow.
Feb 9, 2012
Canning Homemade Soup: Is It Safe?
Homemade soup is so much tastier than the store-bought canned stuff (and often healthier, too). Fortunately, it’s possible to can your own soups from chicken stock to carrot soup to chili, and for the most part it’s pretty simple … but there are a few important guidelines.• Use a pressure canner: Unlike fruits and tomatoes, soup is a low-acid food and cannot be safely preserved using the boiling water bath method (and definitely not the upside-down jar method).
Oct 28, 2011
From Mama to Baby: How Long It Takes for Various Food Tastes to Reach Breast Milk
We already know that the foods mothers-to-be eat can influence their child’s tastes, pre-birth, through amniotic fluid. The same goes for breast milk post-birth. The foods in the mother’s diet faintly permeate into her milk. But when is baby tasting what you ate for lunch?
Sep 14, 2011
Can I Use the Mother Found in My Balsamic Vinegar?
Q: A few years ago you covered a question about vinegar mothers. Well I’ve got a new spin on the question.My balsamic vinegar has grown a mother. Is there any way I can use it to make vinegar from wine? I know that balsamic is traditionally made from un-fermented pressed grapes carefully aged in barrels. That sounds too complicated to do at home, but I’d love to find some use for this mother.Sent by LizEditor: Liz, it’s certainly worth a try!
Jul 28, 2011
A Little Pink: USDA Lowers Temperature Guidelines for Cooking Pork
It’s something chefs (and The Kitchn!) have been saying for years: 160 degrees is overdoing it for pork. Today the USDA announced they agreed and set a new benchmark for a safe cooking temperature for the meat. But did they go low enough? Today, the USDA cooled their previous recommended cooking temperature for pork by 15 degrees. They now recommend that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
May 25, 2011
Is My Frozen Baked Ziti Still Safe to Cook and Eat?
Q: I prepared an extra pan of baked ziti on Christmas Day 2010. I did not need to use it, so I covered it in foil, and put it in the freezer where it still remains. The tray of baked ziti has cooked pasta, cooked tomato meat sauce with sausage, meatballs, and pork chops, and fresh ricotta and mozzarella cheese, as well as grated locatelli romano.I am concerned about the safety of defrosting and baking this dish, as it was prepared over four months ago.
May 12, 2011
Strange But True: The Raw Shiitake Rash
Blistering red welts. A rash that spreads from the back of the hands to the neck, legs, back and abdomen. Is it poison oak? No — it’s shiitake dermatitis, a bizarre reaction to eating raw or undercooked shiitake mushrooms.Have you ever heard of this?More common in Asia, shiitake dermatitis is thought to be a reaction to a component of the mushroom called lentinan, which breaks down when heated.
Feb 23, 2011
Holiday Memories: Why Food Scents Are So Powerful
Mulled cider. A baking ham. Gingerbread cooling on the counter. We all have scents that conjure up holiday memories with a vivid force no other sense can match. Why is that?NPR spoke with a university professor who has researched the connection between our sense of smell and our memories and she revealed some surprising facts about scent, our emotions and the odor of stinky cheese.Dr.
Nov 29, 2010
Help! I Set Off the Fire Alarms When Searing Meat!
Q: This weekend my wife and I tried pan-searing beef. We used butter and oil and a cast-aluminum fry pan. We used high heat initially and then medium to finish cooking.Our problem is that so much smoke is produced from the pan that the second try set off our smoke detectors and prompted a visit from the fire department! What are we doing wrong here?Sent by JoeEditor: Joe, we have a couple of guesses here:• The heat is too high.
Sep 29, 2010
Sprouted Spaghetti Squash: Is It OK To Eat?
We got quite a surprise when we split open this spaghetti squash – inside were sprouted seeds! Has this ever happened to you? Did you eat it?First of all, we knew our squash was a little old when we cut it open. In addition to the sprouts, it appeared dried out. But was it edible? After reading several conflicting opinions online, we decided to just try it for ourselves. Not a fun experience – the flesh and sprouts were alarmingly bitter.
Dec 15, 2009
Cilantro: Why Is Its Taste So Polarizing?
Personally, I love cilantro and can’t get enough of it – I add heaps of it to my guacamole and salsa. It tastes fresh and citrus-like to me. However, supposedly there’s a genetic trait that makes cilantro taste like soap or ground metal shavings to some people. Most people agree on what most foods taste like. Strawberries taste sweet, lemons are sour, and steak is savory. But a large amount of the population cannot agree on what cilantro (also known as coriander) tastes like.
Aug 8, 2008