Food Safety

Meet Your Beef--Via Bar Code Info

RFID tagHow much would you like to know about the animal that may be contributing a roast to your dinner?  Would you like to meet in "person"? Probably not (though some people would). Would you like to see its photo? Maybe not. But what if, by scanning the bar code on the package, you could learn this type of information: where the animal was raised, what hormones or antibiotics (if any) it was treated with, what vaccines were administered, what type of diet it was fed, and how old it was when slaughtered? 

It Says "Use By Tomorrow," But You Don't Have To

expiration date “Use by,” “best by” and “sell by” dates (commonly referred to as expiration dates) are supposed to help consumers make good decisions about what foods to purchase, consume, and discard.   But many folks find them more confusing than helpful.  Moreover, these food expiration dates create anxiety, causing consumers to throw out a lot of perfectly good food.  


Fearing food poisoning, many consumers follow this familiar advice: “When in doubt, throw it out.”  That’s the most worry-free solution, but it certainly isn’t the thriftiest.

Sous Vide—A Better Way to Cook?

Sous Vide“If I could pick only one new cooking method out of this entire book for you to try, sous vide would be it, hands down.” 


Strong words from Jeff Potter in his indispensable Cooking for Geeks.  If you're unfamiliar with the term “sous vide” (French for “under vacuum” and pronounced “Sue Veed”), you're far from alone; because the process involves a fair amount of time and some specialized equipment, its popularity in the home has been limited since its introduction to the culinary world in the 1970's.  But its use in many high-end gourmet restaurants and the publicity given to its strong advocates like Douglas Baldwin, author of Sous Vide for the Home Cook, have increased its visibility to the point where it bears some scrutiny, so let's start with the basic question...

STOP! Don’t Rinse That Raw Chicken!

Rinsed ChickenI confess. All my cooking life, I’ve been rinsing off raw turkey (inside and out), chicken, and fish (but not meat) before preparing it for cooking.  I don’t remember who told me to do this or why I’ve been rinsing poultry.  I know why I’ve been rinsing the fish—because I start by soaking it in milk (to get rid of any “fishy” odor), and then I rinse to get rid of the milk.  Maybe you’ve been treating your raw entrées the same way.

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