Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

62

General comments on the shelf-, fridge-, and freezer-life of foods The shelf-life is the amount of time a food can be stored before it is considered unsuitable for use. It may be unsuitable due to quality degradation (no longer tasty) or food safety (risk of food poisoning). [1] As far as food safety goes, food stored frozen at 0°F (-18°C) or below is ...


34

Yep. Rotten eggs float, fresh eggs sink. This is because eggshells are porous, so over time water vapour and gases leak out, reducing the egg's mass. A fresh egg will lie on its side on the bottom of a glass of water. The older the egg, the more it sits up, until it's floating.


32

Cheese is not made from "rotten" milk, let me clarify that. Rotting is an uncontrolled process in which bacteria, molds and other life forms colonize milk, eat it, release waste into it and die. The resulting, rather unpredictable, crud we call rotten (or more precisely spoiled) milk. Most cheese is the product of highly controlled action by bacteria that ...


27

It is absolutely untrue and very dangerous to think that "if it looks OK, and smells OK, it must be OK." If that were the case, food poisoning would be very rare. Food that we can sense is spoiled rarely causes illness. For one thing what you don't eat can't hurt you and people generally won't eat food that looks or smells spoiled. But less obviously, much ...


26

When I use fresh onions, we store the unused parts for up to a week in our fridge in either a ziploc or a sealable rubbermaid-style container. For particularly pungent onions they go in the crisper drawer to keep the smell from being too strong in the rest of the fridge, but usually they're just on one of the shelves. Stilltasty says 2-3 days but my ...


22

Tea bags will be fine for at least a year in the pantry, but even long after that, they're still safe to consume. They just might change colour or flavour. If your tea has an expiration date then it's just for best quality, not safety. I've personally found tea bags sitting at the back of the pantry that were more than 3 years old, the packaging had even ...


20

It depends on the room temperature where you live. At 65F (18C) or below, butter is often barely spreadable and will last for weeks on the counter in a sealed container. At 80F (26C), it starts to get overly soft and doesn't last more than several days. Our family goes through about a pound / week and we've never had any issues with keeping a half-pound ...


17

From the great Harold McGee, they may last longer in the fridge, but they will taste like cardboard: Tomatoes came originally from a warm climate, and should be stored at room temperature. Their fresh flavor readily suffers from refrigeration. Tomatoes at the mature-green stage are especially sensitive to chilling at temperatures below about ...


17

Here is a quote from the company that makes the registered trademark Baileys Irish Cream: Baileys® is the only cream liqueur that guarantees its taste for 2 years from the day it was made, opened or unopened, stored in the in the fridge or not when stored away from direct sunlight at a temperature range of 0-25 degrees centigrade. One of the keys to ...


16

Heavy cream can be frozen but only if intended to be used in its liquid form (soups, sauces, etc.) It will not whip properly once frozen. I agree with Pointy that there's really no point in freezing it because it's usually dated about 2 months out from the time I'm purchasing it. Additionally, if kept cold and not left out on the counter unnecessarily (as ...


16

Yes, nuts are very fatty, and they will eventually go rancid— if this is the case, they will taste very poor. They can also dry out, or in more rare cases (especially if stored improperly) be infested with insects or molds. Generally, they should be good for six months to a year at their best flavor, depending on the variety (in the shell). Five ...


15

Dried herbs really do only last around six months, certainly no longer than a year. They're generally easy to get in small quantities, though. Spices are trickier. They'll generally last rather longer, but the time will vary. If the spice is used for the colour and/or heat (e.g. turmeric, chilli) it will generally last much, much longer than one used for ...


15

Most commercial fruit is picked before being completely ripened because once it is ripened it has a very limited shelf life, and strawberries are no exception. Strawberries ripen from the tip to the stem and a good indicator that a strawberry is unripe is a white ring around the stem area. Some fruits can be artificially ripened by exposing them to ...


14

It will definitely last longer in the refrigerator than at room temperature. You can also freeze it whole and then grate off what is needed as you need it.


14

Various references, including this one from Lantic sugar note the shelf-life of granulated white sugar as indefinite or effectively forever. Presuming, likely, that it is stored as you note in a sealed container.


14

Actually, the question should be "why do other dairy products spoil so fast?" If I remember correctly, the spoilage of milk is caused primarily by lactose, which breaks down into lactic acid over time due to the presence of Lactobacillus bacteria, which thrive in that environment. Butter is mostly fat, and fat does not go bad (it does eventually, but not ...


13

Tomatoes will last longer if kept in the fridge, but I actually recommend against keeping them there. Tomatoes lose much of their flavor when their temperature is brought below 50 degrees F. Keep them in the pantry. They will still last a few days at least, and they'll taste a lot better.


13

Forever. Honey, comb present or otherwise, does not go bad. It even acts as a preservative. The date you are seeing is solely referring to the "quality" degradation. Completely edible honey has been found in 3,000 year old Egyptian tombs.


13

Yes, that should be fine. Plenty of people keep butter on the counter, so a couple days at below 50 is no big deal.


13

I believe that the best indicator of freshness is the colour of the leaves. Once they turn from green to brown, it is all over for the pesto. To boost the 'shelf-life' of the pesto in the fridge, make sure that it is completely covered with olive oil before sealing the container.


13

If your carrots are going soft after just a few days, you're not storing them properly. Mine keep for weeks and weeks. I leave them in the plastic bag, and keep that in one of the vegetable drawers in my fridge. How are you storing yours? A rubbery soft carrot isn't bad for you, it just isn't very pleasant. A slimy carrot is bad for you, don't eat it.


13

The reason flour is in paper bag (either 1kg/2lbs bags from supermarkets, or 25kg for bakeries) is to let it "breath": to get it oxidized. If you see an old (vintage) bag it's made of a net that lets a lot of air to get in. Today those bags are not used because it also allows bugs to get in. When wheat grains are just milled, the flour is not good enough: ...


12

The use-by dates on all spices are mainly hokum. Most spices last for six months in whole form, herbs can be dried and last about three, after that time the taste is going to weaken and change as essential oils leave the spice. If you keep your spices in an airtight dark container you can eek out a little more time, but I would highly recommend that if you ...


12

If you use your whole beans within a week it's probably not worth storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Coffee beans should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can last 1-3 weeks in your pantry. Ideally you should store them in an airtight opaque container. They degrade quickly in the presence of light, heat, or oxygen. If you want to store them ...


12

The most common data point seems to be that any moisture level below 35% will inhibit growth of the C. Botulinum spores that cause botulism. It's hard to point to true scientific sources because they tend to be protected, but if you spend a few minutes on Google (try this query) you'll see that it is in fact confirmed in several of the scientific journals. ...


12

It is due to a combination of several factor, depending on how the particular sausage was made: Dry cured sausages contain curing salts, a mixture of regular salt and sodium nitrate (which breaks down into sodium nitrite), which prevents the growth of botulism while the sausage cures. Meat for dry cures sausage is also often frozen to specific temperatures ...


11

The question seems to have been more about food safety than whether it seems palatable. When the fat in butter decomposes (i.e. when the butter becomes rancid), it produces an unhealthy acid that actually inhibits mold growth. So, don't wait for your butter to mold to determine if it's gone bad. To follow strict food-safety guidelines, protect butter ...


11

Buttermilk is already thoroughly packed with live bacteria. During its manufacture, that bacteria already consumed some portion of the available lactose and turned it into lactic acid. Because of the lack of food, acidity, and the extreme competition it is pretty hard for buttermilk to go bad. The good bacteria will stay active and the buttermilk will get ...


11

http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17887 is as good advice as any I'd give. In my experience, it gets some slimy mold stuff on it. If it feels slimy, its probably not good to eat, although the mold might taste delicious, you never know...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible