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I have a chicken burrito that has a high salt content and lots of hot sauce in it. Will it stay safe refrigerated any longer than regular cooked chicken (which has a 3-4 day cutoff)?

Response to possible duplicate:

I've searched the linked article and it doesn't answer my question. My question is specifically about how salt affects the timing.

marked as duplicate by rumtscho Feb 27 '17 at 19:21

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  • In responce to your responce about the possible duplicate ;) I think the 3-4 day range includes very salty foods. – user52649 Feb 27 '17 at 19:19
  • and that's due to mold? I thought it was bacteria – hedgedandlevered Feb 27 '17 at 19:20
  • 1
    @hedgedandlevered salt does not affect the timing. It seems that you are not at all familiar with the fundamentals of food safety, so I would suggest that you read our tag info and also the questions linked at the bottom. cooking.stackexchange.com/tags/food-safety/info The short version: the rules mean exactly what they say, they are made very clear-cut on purpose, and there are no exceptions or gradients in them. – rumtscho Feb 27 '17 at 19:24
  • The 3-4 day range includes bacteria and mold. The answer to possible duplicate mentions that salt won't prevent mold from growing (only bacteria). – user52649 Feb 27 '17 at 19:33

I believe your question was addressed in part of an answer here: How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

"What about mold?

[...] Mold can grow even on refrigerated foods, and even those high enough in salt or sugar to deter bacteria."

The rest seems to indicate that you won't get much past the 3-4 day "cooked food" range no matter what.

As a guess, you won't deter mold unless you use enough salt to make the food inedible without washing.


In short: No.

While salt and to some extent spices have a preserving effect, the salt levels of your burrito won't be high enough to make a significant difference. If you added enough salt to safely preserve / extend the shelf life of your burrito, I can guarantee that you wouldn't want to eat it any more.

Note that "safe" in the case of food does not mean "spoiled instantly after that time threshold". The times given have a certain safety margin which has been discussed in other questions & answers here on the site. So while you could argue that salted and spiced food keeps safe a bit longer, the real difference will be "swallowed" by the overall statistics.

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