Sydney Herwig (@SydneyHerwig)
January 5, 2015
Check your fridge and freezer. Do you know how long foods last? Take the quiz to test your food storage knowledge
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Fresh eggs are safe to eat for how long after the "sell by" date?
As long as eggs are refrigerated at 40 degrees F (or lower), the average temp of most fridges, it’s OK to eat them 4 to 5 weeks past the “sell by” date. To keep eggs as fresh as possible, store them in the carton in the coldest part of the fridge — not in the door.
Raw ground beef can sit in the fridge for how long?
The longer ground beef sits uncooked in your fridge, the greater the chances that bacteria will multiply. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends cooking or freezing ground beef within two days of purchase to keep bacteria levels low. This also ensures the best taste.
How long do unopened, refrigerated hot dogs keep?
Although hot dogs are fully cooked, they can sometimes be contaminated with the bacterium listeria in the processing plant — and unlike many forms of bacteria, listeria can grow in the cold temps of your fridge. Once the package is open, eat hot dogs within a week. Unopened, you can keep for two weeks. Heat until steaming to kill any bacteria.
How long is pre-packaged lunchmeat safe to eat?
As long as it’s unopened and refrigerated properly, you can keep it for up to two weeks. If it’s fresh from the deli or in an opened package, on the other hand, keep it for only 3 to 5 days. Any longer and you may be looking at food poisoning.
Refrigerated leftovers usually can be saved for:
When it comes to leftovers, 3 to 4 days is a good rule of thumb. After that the risk of food poisoning increases. You can always freeze most leftovers if you aren’t going to eat them right away — but do it from the get-go. Don’t wait 4 days and then freeze. And remember, the smell test isn’t foolproof; bacteria doesn’t necessarily change the taste, smell or look of food.
How long does sushi last?
When it comes to sushi, as University of Florida food safety expert Keith Schneider put it, “Say sayonara to any leftovers still in the fridge after 24 hours.” He explains, "Once you start combining fish and rice, the potential for problems increase." If you’re bringing some back from a restaurant, it’s best to eat it right when you get home. If you’re buying sushi at the store, make it the last item you pick up so it doesn’t sit in your cart for too long.
How long can you keep frozen meals?
Frozen meals never “go bad,” they just lose quality. Flavor, color and texture deteriorate. To help prevent freezer burn, get rid of as much air as possible in the freezer bag or use the smallest container that fits the food.
Instant coffee is good unopened on the shelf for:
Experts are a little divided on this one but agree that instant coffee, if stored in a cool, dry place, can be kept between 6 and 9 months. If coffee goes bad, it won’t make you sick, it will just lose its taste and flavor. Opened instant will last for about two months. Don’t refrigerate or freeze; contact with moisture causes coffee to deteriorate.
Opened peanut butter lasts on a shelf for:
Unless you bought natural peanut butter, it will keep in the pantry for 2 to 3 months. If you still have some left after that, move it to the fridge, where it will last another 3 to 4 months. (If you refrigerate it from the get-go, it lasts 6 to 9 months.) Natural peanut butter should always be refrigerated and will last 5 to 6 months.
Yogurt is good for how many days past its sell-by date?
Keep it tightly covered. If you see a spot of mold, even if it’s just on the lid,,throw the yogurt away. Yes, yogurt is made using bacteria, but the presence of mold means “bad” bacteria is making its way into the product, which could make you sick.
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