112

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 ...


35

Butter and margarine freeze perfectly. I generally stock up during sales and thaw it as needed. You just have to make sure it's wrapped tightly in the foil, to prevent oxidation. It'll keep at least 6 months, probably more if you don't have a self-defrosting freezer. Thawing butter does take quite a while, however. I usually give a package a few days to ...


29

You don't realize it, but you've asked a hot-button question. Expect to get lots of comments about botulism, etc. This is a result of a report a few years back about folks getting botulism from homemade garlic oil. I'll keep my answer practical. First, depending on where you live, your state, city, county, or other regional government may already have ...


27

There is almost no food which is guaranteed to be safe. If it has nutritional value for a human, it has nutritional value for many microorganisms too, some of which are human pathogens. So, out of the FATTOM rule, you can already throw out F: you cannot remove the food. A is also not a good candidate - no food is naturally acidic enough, and while there ...


26

From the FDA site: "The term 'chemical preservative' as defined by 2l CFR 101.22(a)(5), 'means any chemical that, when added to food tends to prevent or retard deterioration thereof, but does not include common salt, sugars, vinegars, spices or oils extracted from spices, substances added to food by direct exposure thereof to wood smoke, or chemicals applied ...


26

The short answer is: No. The more elaborate answer is that certain bacteria are anaerobic and food needs to be heat treated to ensure it can be safely stored. Especial mention: Clostridium botulinum which leaves deadly toxins. The tealight inside the jar will not produce the heat needed for pasteurization.


24

The preserving effect of canning is based on removing all bacteria and fungi (normally present at least to some extent even in perfectly safe food) by a combination of heat and pressure over a certain time preventing new bacteria or fungi from reaching the food by sealing the containers avoiding oxidation by sealing the cans sometimes supporting this by ...


22

YES! If food is quickly heated and kept above 140F/60C, microorganisms can't grow in the food. Professional kitchens use steam tables to keep food warm at this temperature throughout a day's service. If the product is cooled quickly (generally using an ice bath), then it can be used for more than one day. Another approach is often used for stocks and ...


21

Bacteria need a friendly environment to live. They can't survive without mosture. Mold tolerates more, but it needs moisture for life too. Bread is too dry a food, so it doesn't catch bacteria. This is why it can be stored outside the fridge. But if you live in a moderately humid climate, it can still be moist enough for mold to grow, especially if stored ...


21

Alcohol is a disinfectant, so any bacteria sitting around for a month in vodka have been thoroughly killed... The only thing to worry about is that if some of the chillies were not completely submerged all of the time, you might have a slight problem. The symptoms to look for is discolouring: look for brown / black spots / extremities. If not: no worries: ...


21

These are two different ways to preserve food. The canned salmon was boiled and then sealed into a can while it was still boiling sealed into a can and boiled under a specified combination of time and temperature that has been empirically proven to kill enough bacteria. All the bacteria in the can are dead, and no more can get in, so it's sterile and won't ...


20

There is some real science on this. See http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/15684/PDF When frozen to −20°C butter can last 1 year with no real change in quality


19

Assuming the can was canned properly and has not been damaged, the contents are effectively sterile, because the food is boiled in the can after it's sealed. There might be some degradation in texture and taste, but in terms of food safety, they are effectively safe. Note that the date on your tin is given as Best Before, not Use By. That generally means it'...


18

As Fabby notes in their answer, alcohol is an excellent preservative. As long as your peppers are fully submerged, it's extremely unlikely that they could rot or spoil in any way. (If they aren't, there's a risk that mold or something could grow on the exposed parts, but even that's fairly low if all the surfaces have been at least temporarily in contact ...


17

according to the Ball canning book (paraphrasing)... JAM is made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar, and is made of one fruit or a combination of fruits, is spreadable, and is firm but will not hold the shape of the jar. JELLY is made from juice strained from fruit, usually prepared in a way to keep it crystal clear, and is gelatinized enough ...


16

A lot of dairy products become watery or start to separate if they've been frozen or defrosted: pastries with cream fillings, cream cheese, sour cream. The USDA says does not recommend that eggs or canned foods be stored frozen. Eggshells can crack easily, and even if the shells remain intact, the consistency of egg yolks makes them difficult to use for ...


16

It's fairly obvious that they mean no 'artificial' or 'added' preservatives, considering that's what people usually get their undergarments in an entanglement about. Sodium benzoate (E211) is the most commonly used 'artificial' preservative used in jams because it prevents bacteria and fungus growing when it's used in acidic conditions. I use quotation ...


15

Most freezers are frost-free, which means that they occasionally cycle above freezing to prevent formation of frost on the walls of the freezer. This makes them easier to maintain but it shortens the storage longevity of the food. This makes products stored in them vulnerable to freezer burn, which is a loss of moisture. It can also cause ice and IQF ...


13

This completely depends on all of the other factors involved in botulinum growth, not to mention the particular strain you're concerned about (there are several). Salt, acidity (low pH), low moisture, and extreme temperature (low or high) will all slow botulinum growth significantly. There are proteolytic and non-proteolytic types of bacteria. The ...


13

When I make home made bread, I decide how much I'm going to eat in the next day or two and leave that out on the breadboard, usually just covered with a tea towel. I usually put the cut side down on the board to help prevent it from drying out. The rest gets pre-sliced, put in a zip-top bag, and stashed in the freezer. A few minutes in the toaster oven, and ...


13

Canned salmon is sterilized. Sterilization uses heat to render a product safe. Cured hams are preserved with salt, and nitrites in some cases. Some hams are also cooked. Furthermore, some fish is salted and dried for curing purposes. Salt and drying greatly reduce water activity to render a product safe. Two different processes, both create a safe product.


12

I found that when I dry apple slices (usually early dessert apples) that there is no noticeable difference in the finished product - except of course the colour. I went so far as to have people blind-test them, nobody could tell between acid-treated and "natural" dried apples with statistical significance.


12

Your best bet for preserving quality (and safety) is to re-seal the bag, then leave them in the fridge for a bit. You want them to thaw a little, so you can pry them apart. Its safe to re-freeze after this (as the meat never entered the danger zone, indeed it probably never got above ~30°F). There will be some quality loss from the partial thaw-freeze cycle. ...


11

Those are the flavorings. Just like dill pickles have dill in them, those are what give the flavor profile that people expect from bread & butter pickles.


11

This is totally not a problem. This style of lemon preservation relies on fermentation. The salt is not intended to halt all fermentation- it just restricts it to the tasty kind. Fermented pickles are a common and traditional way to preserve food because the salt and acid and thriving tasty bacteria make a very inhospitable environment for bad bugs. The ...


11

The US FDA has a handy Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart that might help you. In general your "leftovers" have a 3 to 4 day shelf life...I would think that includes your thawed strawberries.


10

Last summer was a long time ago. The National Center for Food Preservation has this to say about herbs in oil: Oils may be flavored with herbs if they are made up for fresh use, stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 to 3 days. There are no canning recommendations. ... Pesto is an uncooked seasoning mixture of herbs, usually including fresh basil, ...


10

Seems this is very common in Britain, where I come from, so google.co.uk did the business! The recipe here allows storing in a cool, dark cupboard for up to six months, and it recommends leaving the eggs at least a month: http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/food/recipes/pickled-eggs This one looks good, and I like the instructions for eating! http://www....


10

I have worked in the CPG industry for almost 30 years. A few years back I had the privilege of representing one of the largest produce brands in the US. I learned quite a bit about produce storage and what speeds up the deterioration rate. One thing I noticed in your picture is that there appeared to be moisture (condensation) inside of the bag of carrots. ...


10

Here, check this out. This is an article explaining at length how to make perfect French fries. How to make perfect McDonald's style French Fries So basically, you have to cut your fries so that they are 1/4 inch thick an then blanch them in boiling vinegared water (1 tablespoon per quart of water) for about 10 minutes. This has to be done to keep the ...


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