It's easy to put something in the refrigerator and forget about it.
But foods don't stay fresh in the fridge forever, and the day will come when you take something out and wonder if it's still good to eat or has gone bad.
So, it's important to know which foods have a shorter lifespan once placed in the fridge.
If items that have been sitting in the fridge too long are eaten, they can lead to food poisoning and, in some cases, serious health problems.
BABY FOOD: LASTS 1 - 3 DAYS IN FRIDGE ONCE OPENED
An open jar of strained fruits and veggies lasts two-to-three days in the fridge. Opened cooked meat and vegetable combos need to go after a day or two. Meat and veggie combos should go after two days, tops. The bottom line: Don't leave open jars of baby food in the fridge longer than three days. A hidden danger with baby food is that parents may feed babies right out of the jar, so saliva transferred to the jar can promote bacterial growth when placed back in the fridge. If you're using a jar more than once, make sure you portion out what you're going to use, so the dirty spoon doesn't go back into the jar.
PASTA SAUCE: LASTS 5 DAYS ONCE OPENED
Once opened, tomato-based sauces are only good for five days to a week. Don't wait for the mold to form. In many cases, you won't see the mold in the sauce after five days, but it actually could be there. Some mold produce toxins that can be harmful, so why take the risk? Mold grows in very wet environments. What promotes the mold is the high moisture content. No amount of cooking will kill the toxins. So, to be safe, you need to throw it away.
MAYONAISE: LASTS 2 MONTHS ONCE OPENED
Mayo has a high fat content, which means it's not as susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. But the oils in mayo break down over time, so its flavor changes, and it will no longer taste good. There may be a subtle "off" smell, but you may or may not be able to smell it, so be on the safe side and dispose of it after two months, no matter what type of container it comes in. For other condiments, such as ketchup, oil, and salad dressing, refer to the expiration dates, which are normally accurate for these products.
Because it's not always easy to keep track of how long your food has been living in the fridge, Freeman suggests taking tape and a marker and writing down the date you open any glass jars or metal cans. Use the dates as your reference point. Once you've gone past the date, it is time to trash it!
CHEESE: LASTS 1 - 4 WEEKS
Softer cheeses generally have a shorter shelf-life than hard chesses. Hard cheeses ( e.g. cheddar or Swiss) last three to four weeks in the fridge after they're opened; soft cheeses (e.g. Brie) last one week. With cheeses, you can follow the "use/sell by" dates as your guide, but it's best to examine the cheese: Look for mold and smell the cheese to see if it has an odor of ammonia.
It's possible to prolong cheese's shelf life before you store it in the fridge: Remove the plastic that firm cheeses often come in, and wrap the cheese in wax paper. Finish it off with a light layer of plastic wrap.
It's also still possible to eat cheese that has mold on it, but you must be careful: Cut off an inch beyond the mold on all sides, keeping the knife clean between cuts, so you won't spread it. Re-cover it with some fresh wrap.
EGGS: LASTS 3 - 5 WEEKS
Eggs should last three to five weeks after you put them in the fridge. Keep in mind that it's very important that you don't put eggs in the front of the fridge — even if there are compartments for them there. They'll spoil earlier if they're in the front. Stick eggs along with milk, and raw food (fish, meat, and poultry) in the back of the fridge, because it's cooler there. Bacteria grow at a slower rate in colder temperatures. The back of the fridge is typically the coldest part of your fridge, so store items there that need to be kept freshest. Butter is good to keep in the front of the fridge, to keep it warmer so it's easy to cut. Butter, bottled water, and other unopened drinks are items that are less susceptible to temperature problems.
LEFTOVERS: LAST 3 - 4 DAYS
Kung Pao chicken, pepperoni pizza, or tuna salad must go in the fridge within two hours of serving to reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses, because bacteria grow more quickly at room temperature. Don't leave leftovers hanging out in the kitchen. Put them in the fridge as soon as you're done with them. Cold temperatures slow the rate of bacteria growth. For larger items, such as macaroni salad or large quantities of Chinese food, refrigerate in several shallow containers rather than large clumps. That way, the food will cool evenly and more quickly. You don't want a big clump: That risks the chance of something growing in the center because it didn't cool properly.
January 3, 2008
It's easy to put something in the refrigerator and forget about it.
Posted by Lloyd at 5:59 AM
November 6, 2007
I was browsing the net for more information about Lock&Lock and was somehow impressed by the reviews from different people and websites. for more info check out the websites. here are some of them.
Our Best Selling Food Storage Set!Maximize cupboard space and keep your food fresher longer with this Giant 17 Piece Lock & Lock Container Set by Heritage Mercantile. These 100% air- and water-tight food containers are made of high grade, durable polypropylene plastic and feature a special silicone sealing ring that works to keep your items fresh and secure. The patented, ergonomic design utilizes 4 easy snap latches that are easy to use and lock in freshness. These stackable, multi-use containers meet FDA standards for food storage and are completely odor proof and stain resistant. Smaller units nest inside larger units for easy, space saving storage. The nifty styling and sizes make these plastic containers perfect for storing so much more than food! Great for craft and sewing supplies, home office supplies, garage hardware, camping, first aid and so much more, Lock & Lock offers a storage solution for all your needs. Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Check out our entire line of Lock & Lock Airtight Storage Containers !
These Lock & Lock containers have been a lifesaver. We have been using them for so many uses, and have bought more for our collection. I ended up adding more, including a larger sandwich container, some round containers, and several others. The more we get, the more obsolete our old storage containers become. (Or at least, the more obstinate I am in using them!)
I can’t find anything that I don’t like about these Lock & Lock containers. The only problem I have had is with finding them in stores.
We have used these containers for so many things, and all the time. It has saved me countless Ziploc bags and the hassle of spoiled food or problematic storage containers. I don’t have to worry that lunch will spill all over the inside of a bag, that the lid will pop off, or that my sandwich will get squished.
We are going on our honeymoon soon, and I know Lock N Locks will come in handy, for everything from sunscreen that I don’t want spilled in my pack, to shampoo I don’t want leaked in my suitcase, to wallets/cell phones when we’re on the beach or by the pool, to vitamins while I’m traveling.
The best thing about these is that we don’t waste nearly as much food as we used to. I got a bag of Oreos, and normally, we’ll eat about half and the other half gets stale and soggy before we get around to eating it. Same with other things, especially snacks. Once we bought the Lock N Lock containers, it really helped me to save money and time. I now keep many foods fresher, for longer, and appreciate the convenience and durability of these storage containers.
Posted by Lloyd at 1:30 AM
Posted by Lloyd at 1:21 AM
The average refrigerator operates between 35F (2C) and 44F (7C), which is low enough to stop microorganisms from forming. (Microorganisms include bacteria and mould.) It is NOT cold enough to destroy microorganisms already present in the food; it is up to you to ensure the freshness of food that you buy. The fresher it is the less likely it is contaminated. Therefore you should buy fresh and get it into a fridge as soon as humanly possible.
There are also a few other rules that constitute sensible use of refrigeration that are basically common sense practices and adhesion to these rules will enhance all of the above benefits.
- Do not open the door unless you know exactly what you wish to take out. Opening the door allows warm air into the storage area and this affects the electricity used and the food stored inside. Leaving the door open destroys what the machine has worked for hours to achieve.
- Cover all food before you put it into the refrigerator and I go against common trends by covering with aluminum foil rather than cling film. Foil excludes light and light is an enemy of food. Food exposed to light deteriorates quicker than food that is protected from light.
- Never place warm or hot dishes into a refrigerator despite claims by various makers that it is safe to do so. It is better to cover the food and allow it to cool before placing into the refrigerator. Hot dishes placed into the fridge cause frosting within the machine and this forms an unwanted insulation layer over the contents.
- Raw food such as meat and fish should be covered and placed in the coolest section, normally the top section. If they are uncovered they can pass their flavor to other foods such as cheese or butter.
- Cooked meat and other cooked foods should go in the middle section.
- Vegetables and fruits into the specially designed crispers.
Posted by Lloyd at 12:09 AM
November 2, 2007
Another of the series of long reads i have found as i search through for further reference....thanks to Mrs.Vicki Tate for providing us on more insights about food storage...interesting and informative.
If you are going to store food, make sure that the food you store is adequate for the need you and your family anticipate. This may not be as easy as to achieve as many people think, because the facts are that most people make serious errors when storing food—errors that will come back to haunt them when the food they’ve stored is the only thing that stands between them and their empty, dissatisfied, bellies.
There are seven common mistakes people make when storing food. They are:
Most people don’t have enough variety in their storage. Statistics show most of us won’t survive on such a diet for several reasons. a) Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal. b) Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple. c) We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, then to sample that particular food again. This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particularly ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans, as this will add color, texture, and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion.
Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook, go through it, and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.
2. Extended staples
Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and “store bought” canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items.
Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits.
4. Quick and easy and “psychological foods”
Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. “No cook” foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation, MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. “Psychological foods” are the goodies—Jello, pudding, candy, etc.—you should add to your storage. These may sound frivolous, but through the years I've talked with many people who have lived entirely on their storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to “normalize” their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children.
Time and time again I’ve seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item and so on. Don’t do that. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll fare much better having a one month supply of a variety of items than a year’s supply of two or three items.
Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don’t stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods.
7. Use your storage
In all the years I’ve worked with preparedness one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It’s vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating these foods. A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a good food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods! It’s better to find out the mistakes you’ll make now while there’s still time to make corrections.
It’s easy to take basic food storage and add the essentials that make it tasty, and it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook, Cooking with Home Storage, I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they had stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating to discover what the pioneers ate compared to the types of things we store. If you have stored only the basics, there’s very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things, it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food storage changed. I realized our storage is what most of the world has always lived on. If it’s put together the right way we are returning to good basic food with a few goodies thrown in.
By Vicki Tate
Posted by Lloyd at 11:12 AM
Food storage is simple once you know the basics.This may be a long read but continue reading and you may actually be informed of tips and guidelines of how and what you could actually do on the concern of proper food storage.
I. Develop a Home Storage Mindset
If you're new to food storage, first prepare by developing a food storage mindset. It's easy to think of lots of reasons why we can't get our food storage started; but we have to remind ourselves that ANY food item that is stored for later use (tomorrow, next week, next year, or years from now) is food storage.
A. Keep Food Storage on Your Mind
As you begin to focus on your home storage, keep your storage in mind as you shop, clip coupons, and browse newspapers for sales. When you find tomato sauce on sale, stock up on enough for a month or two. When canned vegetables are on sale, buy enough for a variety of canned goods in your storage. Pasta, oil, and beans keep well; so store enough for two or three months. As your pantry fills, you will begin to develop an idea of what you want to add to your storage, and you'll keep that in mind as you shop and plan your gardening.
B. Plan Ahead When Buying in Bulk
Reusable containers can be a blessing for those who plan to continue their storage as a way of life.
II. Start Simply
Don't begin your food storage focus with the compulsion to obtain a year's supply of food storage immediately. Start your food storage plan by determining what food items you use regularly that could be bought ahead and stored for future use.
A. Back to Basics
You may be able to save money with your food storage by using "back to basics" techniques such as grinding your own grains, sprouting seeds, growing garden vegetables, home canning, etc.
B. Food Storage is NOT Just for Emergencies
Food storage is not something we set aside for an emergency, although it is a great blessing in such a time. Food storage is a plan for living better, buying less expensively, preserving foods we grow ourselves, developing a healthier lifestyle, and learning ways to use our storage for household uses
III. Store What You Will Use
Examine the shelf life of food items your family uses. That will help you to estimate how much you can store. You can only store as much as your family will use before the shelflife of the food item runs out (stored at proper temperature and under proper circumstances in adequate food grade containers, without oxygen if appropriate.)
A. Make Use of Your Storage
Proper use of your food storage can help to simplify your life, improve your health, extend your budget, and enlighten your soul.
IV. Set a Goal, Devise a Plan, and Obtain Your Storage
Set a goal, devise a plan, and obtain the storage you desire. For example, you might begin with a goal to obtain a month's supply of food storage. You might plan to purchase items such as staples, canned goods, dry milk, and pasta, making a chart of how much of each item you will need to store. As you make your grocery purchases over the next month, buy twice the amount you need of each item (one for this month's use, and another for next month's storage.) Buying on sale, using coupons, and growing your own foods can help to reduce the initial cost of storing foods.
A. Tailor Guides for Short-Term Basic Storage and Long-Term Extended Storage
As you develop a home storage mindset, you can devise a plan for short-term basic storage and for long-term extended storage. Food storage guides are meant to be used as general guidelines that can be tailored to your family's needs that serve to give you a better overall picture of home storage. Food storage buying guides generally lay out a plan to obtain a year's supply of food storage with monthly or weekly goals; but these, too, should be tailored to your family's needs.
B. Find Space for Your Storage
As your storage grows, finding storage space can be a challenge.
If space is a problem, get creative. Build shelves, store under beds, use an unused corner of a room, store under decorative tables, or store behind couches and other furniture.
C. Label Carefully
As you package a food item for storage, be sure to label the container plainly with the name of the food item and date it is packed. Place your labels so that you will still be able to see them when containers are stacked or shelved.
D. Rotate, Rotate, ROTATE!
The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can tell you about food storage is that it is necessary to ROTATE your storage. That means that you use the container that's been stored the longest and replace it with newer stored containers behind the older ones. If you are storing items that you never use, you are wasting space that could be used for food items you need. Food storage that spoils or lies untouched is garbage. Don't fill your home with garbage. Fill your home with precious healthy food storage that will be a blessing to you and your family on a regular basis and in times of need.
Posted by Lloyd at 10:54 AM