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Most questions are about gastronomy and food safety. I see 22 pages of tags. Are any intended specifically for food industry?

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Until now, we have not seen the need to make a difference between questions for food industry and for home cooks. Our audience is mostly home cooks, but we have some professional chefs posting, and also a few questions which are obviously intended for commercial food processing. They generally get the same tags as the other ones. After all, a thickener is a thickener no matter if you are going to serve your jam to your family, to guests in a restaurant, or to ship the cans to a supermarket.

But our tags are user-created. Users with a certain amount of reputation can create new tags, and if you don't have enough reputation, you can flag your own question for mod attention and ask a tag to be created if you feel it's needed, for example or whatever fits the question.

If you suggest such a tag, there are different possible outcomes:

  1. The moderator creates it for you, it gets used and gets established. It still won't guarantee you completeness, because users might not think of using it even when it is appropriate. But it will make it easier for you to find industry-applicable questions if that's what you need.
  2. The moderator doesn't create it for you, because he judges that your proposal is not a good tag. See for example this description of which tags are bad. Whether it gets approved or not will depend on the specific tag you propose and the usage you have in mind for it, but there are no long-term consequences for you as a user to suggest a tag which doesn't get approved, so it doesn't cost you much to try.
  3. The moderator creates it, but other users don't apply it to their questions. The system here has automatic cleanup and deletes unused tags after some time (I think it was 6 months).

Note that we have tags about questions here. That's it. We don't have categories of questions with subcategories; we don't have categories of tags. We don't say that "these tags are for industry only, the others are for home cooks only". Even if this separation was possible, such a strict categorization with rigid ontology is frequently counterproductive for information discovery even when properly applied (and it becomes almost impossible to apply properly by laymen). But in this case, it is not even possible. Take the food safety - it is a big topic in industry, but frankly, most of the questions we get here for this tag are from home cooks who forgot a piece of meat on the counter overnight and are looking for somebody to tell them what they want to hear but already suspect is untrue (that it is not officially safe to eat it).

  • Thanks for your thoughtful response. My question relates only to hot holding for restaurant service overcooking vegetables--because broccoli still has to be maintained at +140F (hot foods hot sort of thing). I was thinking to ask the community, but its such a specifically food industry question... I didn't think there were food industry only tags, only that someone might speak up about food industry tags that exist here. Then I could read some Qs and determine for myself if my question has any interested parties. Peeps subscribed to tags. etc. – xtian Jan 23 '14 at 0:48
  • @xitan it is always nice to see users who take into account the suitability of their questions to the site audience :) In your case, I understand that such a tag would have been useful, however, it doesn't exist yet. You can ask your question, and then I can create something like restaurant-practices for you, or maybe some other wording. I think that the question you mention will be received positively on the site, even though I am not sure that we will be able to tell you any tricks you don't already know. But it is worth trying. – rumtscho Jan 23 '14 at 13:36
  • The only "trick" I know is to use batch cooking. The other way to approach this question is to look for recipes which stand up to this kind of hot holding. You see I'm thinking I've succumbed to information bias, and I already have my answer--as you suggest. – xtian Jan 23 '14 at 23:22
  • Only one other idea comes to mind, but its really an argument. Why should cooked vegetables (hot food) need to be held hot when raw fruit, such as apples, bananas, and the like are not kept cold but at room temperature? – xtian Jan 25 '14 at 23:59

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