We've all done it: wrap some leftover pizza in foil, or put your leftover casserole into a plastic container, then shove it into the back of the fridge, only to "rediscover" it four or five days later. You probably give it a sniff, and if it smells alright, go ahead and eat it. But is it really still good?
As a rule of thumb, if you're wondering whether a food is still good, but you can't remember when you put it into the fridge, throw it out.
Here are some rather unpleasant things to consider:
If you've already double-dipped, say by eating right out of a cottage cheese container, saliva is transferred into the food where it can promote bacterial growth.
Mold is not always visible. It can exist in food without your being able to see it.
Oils in high-fat foods like mayonnaise and salad dressings break down over time, resulting in flavor changes. However, this can be subtle and you may not notice it, even though they're past their prime.
If you refrigerate leftovers in a big clump (such as in a Chinese food container), bacteria can begin to grow in the center even after it's in the fridge (because the middle can't cool down quickly enough).
To minimize your risk of food poisoning, it is therefore really better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food spoilage. Here we've compiled a guide for some common foods, along with how long you can expect them to last in your refrigerator.
||Will Last ...|
|Beef steaks and roasts
|Ground turkey, pork, lamb
|Hotdogs (opened package)
|Hotdogs (unopened package)
|Cooked or uncooked veggies
|CONDIMENTS, LEFTOVERS, MISC.|
|Mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other condiments
||Use within 1 year of opening|
|Ketchup, peanut butter, jelly
Want to Make Your Food Last Longer?
Keep All of Your Veggies Fresh Longer
The MiniMate deodorizes (replacing the backing soda boxes in the fridge) plus more importantly it also kills potentially dangerous food-borne bacteria. This extends the freshness and life of many foods 3 to 4 times longer!
Plus, the MiniMate features:
- An activated oxygen generator to eliminate odors, keep foods fresher longer and kill bacteria in your refrigerator
- Naturally kills odors without any cover-up scents or fragrance
- Reduces food spoilage and prevents cross-contamination of food odors
- Breaks down pesticides and herbicides on produce
Find Out More About the MiniMate Refrigerator Unit Now!
On average, American families throw away 14 percent of the food they buy, and a large part of that is food that becomes spoiled before it's eaten. However, there is a solution.
Using FDA-approved technology, the Minimate Refrigerator Unit can extend the freshness and life of many of your foods by three to four times. It works by eliminating most of the germs or mold that may be living on your foods without harming the food or leaving behind any residue.
According to Consumer Reports, "This safe technology has been used for years in the wholesale produce and cut flower industries to extend the life of their products. Why? Because it kills the bacteria and mold that could spoil your food and make you sick.
The MiniMate takes this technology and shrinks it down to an appliance not much bigger than the box of baking soda that is probably in your refrigerator now. But instead of just deodorizing it helps sanitize too, making it a great deal for anyone who is concerned about their health."
On top of using the MiniMate, the following tips will also help your food to stay fresher:
Keep your refrigerator temperature between 35-40.5 degrees F, and freezer temperatures at 0.5 F or lower.
Leave space in between refrigerated items so the cold air can circulate.
Refrigerate foods within two hours of eating them.
If you eat right out of a food container, your saliva will promote bacterial growth and make the food spoil faster.
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
CBSNews.com August 6, 2007
Food Navigator November 26, 2004
California Poison Control System
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