The Shelf Life Advice Quick Reference Guide has answers about refrigerated unopened and opened foods. To receive your copy, type your email address in the box below and click "Sign Up".

Should Hot Food Go into the Fridge?

Hot FoodCooking for a crowd?  Then chances are, you’re planning to prepare some hot dishes a day or two in advance.  Then, you may ask yourself, can my casserole go right from the oven into the fridge, or is that a bad idea?  This quandary actually poses 3 questions: 

 

1) Will hot food damage my refrigerator?

 

2) Will adding hot food harm my already refrigerated food? 

 

3) Will immediate refrigeration be bad for the hot food?  We asked two members of our Advisory Board, Dr. Timothy Bowser, a food process engineer, and Dr. Karin Allen, a food scientist, to provide the answers.

Using a Turkey Fryer: Tips and Warnings

Turkey FryerThere have been a lot of advancements in turkey fryers over the years, and I think that in general, the newer fryers are much safer than the older, open-pot, open-flame models. At least one manufacturer offers an oil-free turkey fryer (www.masterbuilt.com), which looks a lot more like a smoker than a fryer to me, but it must be safer than the oil-filled alternative!

 

Electric turkey fryers have the advantage of no open flame to possibly ignite the oil.  This is why many can be used indoors. Also, the temperature controls on an inexpensive electric-powered home fryer are more likely to be automated than on the gas version. Finally, the indoor turkey fryers can be used for conveniently frying other foods plus many can be used for steaming too. One negative aspect of frying indoors is the odor and airborne oil particles that invade your home.

What NOT to Do With Thanksgiving Dinner

TurkeyNo one wants to share Thanksgiving dinner with unwanted, invisible visitors—the kind that can sneak in and cause food-borne illness. But you can keep bacterial growth at bay by following these recommendations from food safety experts.

When to Throw Food Out? Not on the Use-By Date

eggs, salsa, yogurtOn August 24th, I got ambitious and cleaned out my refrigerator.  I found these foods--raw eggs, low-fat yogurt, and mild salsa--all languishing far beyond their so-called "expiration" dates.  I asked 4 of the scientists on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board to tell me if I could still eat them or if I had to throw them out.  The first 3 sections of this article let you compare their responses.  I hope their explanations help you make better decisions about what "old" food to discard and when.  Note that the philosophy often followed is "Waste not, want not."

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