Dr Oz: Food Safety
According to Doctor Oz, many viewers write to the show asking about food safety. He wanted to have experts answer some of the most asked questions, which could help you out in the kitchen. Is it safe to eat raw cookie dough? How long can you leave food out at a buffet party? Is it safe to eat food if you cut mold off?
Dr Oz: Cut Mold Off Food?
Aaron McCargo, Jr. from Big Daddy’s House was on hand to help Dr Oz answer the first question. Is it safe to eat food if you cut mold off it first?
According to Big Daddy, it’s OK to do this with some foods, such as hard cheese. The food should still be safe to eat. You can also coat your knife in flour to keep the cheese from sticking while you cut.
Dr Oz said this is correct, because mold cannot penetrate through a hard cheese. Cutting off the bad part and tossing it out is safe. However, with soft items like bread, you need to throw it out because it’s too easy for mold to spread.
Dr Oz: Eat Raw Cookie Dough?
What do you think? Is it safe to eat raw cookie dough? Dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth was on hand to tackle this topic. She said if the mix doesn’t contain raw eggs, you’re in the clear. The risk comes from raw eggs, which can cause Salmonella poisoning. Since the risk is small, it’s probably safe to have a taste, she said.
Doctor Oz agreed with her answer, but he said that pregnant women or anyone with a compromised immune system should skip the cookie dough altogether, just to be safe.
Dr Oz: Buffet Party Food Safety
If you are serving party food buffet style, can you leave it out for three to four hours? For advice on food safety, Dr Oz brought in restaurateur Seamus Mullen. For restaurants, a food “danger zone” is any temperature between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the danger zone, it’s very easy for bacteria to grow. Food left in the danger zone for over two hours runs a high risk of spreading bacteria, so it’s probably not safe to eat.
As general food advice, “when in doubt, throw it out.” I’m with the experts: if you are unsure, I’d lean toward safe rather than sick. (But I love cookie dough!)