Bethany over at That'sFit drew Crabby's attention to a health question she tends to be willfully ignorant about: how long you can keep stuff in the refrigerator before you have to toss it out?
Every now and then Crabby reads an article like this and she thinks, really? That soon? My goodness!
And perhaps she even reforms her ways for a few days. But she always goes back to her usual primary method for determining Food Salvageability: the sniff test. If it doesn't stink, she pretty much eats it. Of course there are exceptions: if it has turned a noticeably different color or grown a lot of fur, or if it's been so long she can't remember how it got there, perhaps she tosses it even if it doesn't smell or taste funny.
In fact for Crabby, even mold is sometimes negotiable. But don't you do it just because Crabby does. This may be a "health" blog, but it still sets an Unhealthy Example a lot of the time. Because except for maybe certain hard cheeses, which you can cut around widely, you're really supposed to throw out baked goods or produce when any of it starts to go moldy. But try telling a luscious ripe peach harboring a little bruised and moldy spot, "Sorry, you sweet and juicy and tempting little piece of fruit, it's straight to the compost pile for you!"
Crabby just can't sometimes. Don't be like her.
Anyway, as to how long you're actually supposed to store things in the refrigerator: here's a food safety chart courtesy of the USDA.
Some examples? Most soups, stews, and casseroles seem to be 3-4 days, but meat broths and gravies are 1-2 days. Pizza is 3-4 days, but chicken nuggets are just 1-2 days. Yogurt is 7-14 days; while hard cheeses are up to 6 months unopened. There are lots more interesting information which of course Crabby will either forget or just chuckle at the next time she wants to eat an aged leftover she should be throwing away.
Also the folks at Real Simple put together another great list of how long you can keep stuff in your kitchen cabinets. Some nice surprises here! Olive Oil, two years! Power Bars 12 months! But then vinegar goes bad after 42 months, which seemed strangely specific. And what happens in the 43rd month? As Crabby has a strange assortment of vinegar bottles in varying flavors dating back to the Reagan administration, she should probably find out.
So any thoughts on leftovers, expiration dates, horrible food poisoning experiences, Wednesdays, or anything at all? Crabby loves your comments!