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I was making some fruit balls, like raw/bliss type balls. I chopped up some dates (dried), dried apricots, dried apple, and sultanas; I put these in a bowl and poured over a small amount of boiling water to soften them a bit, and stirred in some cocoa powder and a few drops of liquid stevia.

Then I got busy with other things and never made the balls. The mixture has been covered and refrigerated since then, about 3 weeks ago.

Is this still safe to use? I'm thinking the dried fruit would have become partially re-hydrated by the boiling water.

Thanks

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The process that preserves fruit in a drying situation is the significant reduction of water activity in the product, which inhibits bacterial growth. It is impossible to know how much you re-hydrated the product, but you certainly increased the water activity significantly. Then, you added other ingredients. All of this increases the potential for bacterial growth.

Of course, refrigeration also slows bacterial growth, however, for me, there are too many unknowns here, from the source and condition of the fruit, to the nature of the additional ingredients and the time between re-hydration and refrigeration. Three days is probably fine. Three weeks would concern me, and I would not recommend use.

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