Don’t put your lips on it!

[note: Ask Metafilter’s Can I eat this? questions deserved their own tag, so here it is.]

The hive mind at Ask Metafilter draws on a pool of 60,000 members to answer questions on any topic: romantic, technical, medical, cultural. But perhaps the most entertaining discourse, second only to Steve, Don’t Eat It!, occurs in the wake of the question “Is this safe to eat?” Here I present a compilation of food safety questions from AskMe. Goggle in amazement as people take chances with:

– “How long will scrambled eggs keep?”
– “I hard-boiled a dozen eggs this morning. They’ve been sitting in the same water they boiled in which is now at room temperature (about 20C/70F) for approximately six to eight hours.
– “The ice cream made with this maybe-undercooked custard is in the mixer right now.”

– “… today I learned that you’re very much not supposed to store raw veg & raw chicken together in the fridge overnight, and now I know better than to do it again. But…
– “ XMAS DINNER: Is it safe to eat these leftovers?” [I would totally eat these, and very recently did eat turkey & stuffing similarly mistreated.]
– “Pizza [topped with chicken] purchased hot on Wednesday night and kept in the fridge till Friday….Good to eat?”
– “Should I eat this cooked chicken in my fridge? 6-7 days old, and in a zip-loc.”
– “I left a [chicken patty with mayo] sandwich in my car this morning, unfortunately on the back deck (sedan).”

fish and shellfish!
– “I made a tuna sandwich for lunch and left it at home [on the counter]. Will it still be edible?”
– “How long is it safe to keep cooked shrimp in a refrigerator before eating?”
– “Erm, I just ate raw swordfish… Am I gonna die?”
– “I just found some frozen scallops in the back of my refrigerator, and I imagine they have been there for about two years.”

preserved pork
– “Is it OK to eat raw pancetta? It tasted good, but it was very, very chewy, so chewy that I ended up having an unchewable lump of fat in my mouth that I had to spit out.”

the savory course
– “ How long does Chevre keep?
– “I left my cheese out overnight. Is it still okay to eat?”
– “Mmm, walnuts. Hey, what’s that cobweb stuff?
– “This wine’s cork has gritty brown crystal and organic matter on the bottom. What is that? Is it bad?”

taters and tomaters
– “If I remove the sprouts, are these potatoes safe to eat?
– ” ‘Refrigerate after opening,’ says the tomato sauce. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

potential botulinum carriers
– “Would homemade mango chutney which was placed in a strawberry jam jar as soon as it was made and hasn’t been opened since (as far as I know) still be OK to eat after one year in a pantry cupboard at room temperature?
– “Why did my hummus explode?” After being advised that exploding hummus may well indicate botulism, which produces no off smell or taste and can easily be deadly or debilitating, the original poster adds “It totally smells fine. I have yet to decide about eating it.”

And finally, my two favorites. One, a simple question seeking an inventive answer:
– “Can I eat a live wasp? If so, what would the safest method of eating it?”

Second, a long dramatic arc detailing the struggle between financial prudence and every other kind of prudence:
– “But hey, this is expensive crab meat.

I am participating in NaBloPoMo.

3 thoughts on “Don’t put your lips on it!

  1. I’m going to have to sit down and read through these when I have time. Given my notoriously sensitive nose and pickiness about leftovers, this is against my better judgment.

  2. Given your delicate constitution, Jagosaurus, I cannot recommend you read the following answer to the tuna sandwich question: [don’t read!] “I wouldn’t eat it for dinner. But I probably would put it in the fridge tonight, and eat it tomorrow. But, uh, I guess that’s bad.”

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