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Old 03-30-2019, 02:44 PM
 
2,060 posts, read 1,304,152 times
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It's amazing how much food we waste in the US and probably a large chunk of the entire world. Throwing out a meal that sat on your counter for 3 hours is ridiculous unless someone virulent sneezed on it or bled on it or something. Throwing out food that has been in the fridge for 3 days is equally ludicrous.

Restaurants etc. have to follow food safety laws of course. That's about not getting sued. People who act that way at home obviously just don't care that they are part of a huge problem, I guess.

Marketing has pushed the anti-germ/bacteria/icky factor to ridiculous levels.
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,493 posts, read 1,596,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
I am more of a 10 day, 12 hours kind of guy. The ultimate litmus is the sensory test; does it look and smell normal?
Exactly! That's the rule I follow; also add "taste normal" to the list. Even so, I still err on the side of caution, and promptly refrigerate anything I just cooked. (Today, it was gnocchi with chicken and mushrooms.)
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Old 03-30-2019, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,664 posts, read 18,856,303 times
Reputation: 8552
I don't' think they are 'expiration' dates, I think they're 'sell by' dates. And the 'sell by' date is so the product will look and taste as it is supposed to, not necessarily be unhealthy. But, YMMV.

Small kid time, food didn't have dates on it, nobody I knew got sick or died from from it. For canned goods, if the top of the can is bulged out, we'd not eat it. When first opened, it should suck in air and the lid will pop out a bit. My mom would even scrape the green mold off of jelly or cheese and feed the rest of it to us kids. We didn't get sick or die, but, I'm not a scientist or someone in the know about food safety so don't take my advice at all. Do what you think best, since after all, it's your food and your life.

Hmm, small kid time, food didn't have an ingredient list on it, either.
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:10 PM
 
18,347 posts, read 23,515,236 times
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I work in the grocery industry ...and I can tell you grocery stores are a sitting duck for lawsuits..

from carriages hitting cars in the parking lot and they sue for a paintjob.....to people slipping walking in ...to slipping in the store..
and then if someone feels sick . they aren't afraid to sue..

5 years ago there was a recall on plumrose sliced ham
a store manager called and was in tears saying a customer called saying she got sick off this product recall and has a lawyer and will sue.. I checked to see if the store actually bought this product and they didn't!!

so this is why there are expiration dates..... try to protect themselves
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:50 AM
 
6,954 posts, read 3,860,525 times
Reputation: 14779
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
This thread is about food safekeeping, which is storage of already-cooked foods, rather than food safety during cooking. Anyway, I always read how you should discard cooked foods sitting in the fridge for more than 3 days, and discard cooked foods sitting out for more than 2 hours. I can see that being true for things like milk or eggs, and even that's debatable, but most foods should be perfectly fine after being kept for longer than that. I also see why restaurants would have such strict rules: better safe than sorry, and they waste 40% of their food, anyway. But for home, it doesn't make much sense.

Maybe it's just me, but the "3 days, 2 hours" rule seems extremely overzealous. I always cook meals for the following week during the weekend, and they're still just as good on Friday as they are on Monday. Very rarely does something go bad to the point of me tossing it. And I got sick from something I kept too long maybe two or three times in my adult life. Unless it's 90* at a picnic or something---that's when you use coolers or forego food. Although when it's that hot, my appetite goes down to zero. I'd rather go swimming, then eat in an air-conditioned restaurant. But I digress.

I can't help but smell a rat. I wonder if these overzealous guidelines are meant to increase food waste, so people keep buying more to replace what they threw out.

Thoughts?
Where do you get this stuff? Who claims food should be thrown away after three days in the refrigerator? Who says that anything should be thrown away after two hours at room temperature? Some foods should never be refrigerated - when do you throw them away? How long does a cookie last? An apple?

And where did you get the idea that restaurants throw away 40% of the food they handle? They'd all be out of business if that was the case. How did you come to the conclusion that there is a profit motive by anyone in spreading these "rules" you've created?
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,888,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
This thread is about food safekeeping, which is storage of already-cooked foods, rather than food safety during cooking. Anyway, I always read how you should discard cooked foods sitting in the fridge for more than 3 days, and discard cooked foods sitting out for more than 2 hours. I can see that being true for things like milk or eggs, and even that's debatable, but most foods should be perfectly fine after being kept for longer than that. I also see why restaurants would have such strict rules: better safe than sorry, and they waste 40% of their food, anyway. But for home, it doesn't make much sense.

Maybe it's just me, but the "3 days, 2 hours" rule seems extremely overzealous. I always cook meals for the following week during the weekend, and they're still just as good on Friday as they are on Monday. Very rarely does something go bad to the point of me tossing it. And I got sick from something I kept too long maybe two or three times in my adult life. Unless it's 90* at a picnic or something---that's when you use coolers or forego food. Although when it's that hot, my appetite goes down to zero. I'd rather go swimming, then eat in an air-conditioned restaurant. But I digress.

I can't help but smell a rat. I wonder if these overzealous guidelines are meant to increase food waste, so people keep buying more to replace what they threw out.

Thoughts?

You go ahead and eat those items mentioned past their suggested quality and safe dates.

I eat fresh foods. No issues of safety or quality. Easy.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:06 AM
 
6,471 posts, read 4,069,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
You go ahead and eat those items mentioned past their suggested quality and safe dates.

I eat fresh foods. No issues of safety or quality. Easy.
Unless you grow all your own produce, grind your own flour from home-grown grain, milk your own cows, collect eggs from your own chickens, and butcher your own meat, I highly doubt that everything you eat is as fresh as you claim.

If you buy ANY food, safety and quality are an issue. I'm one who happens to think it is a very minor issue if you buy from trusted sources, and I never throw anything away unless it actually rots. But I'm not under the delusion that eggs or apples from a store or even the farmer's market are as "fresh" as they could be or that it's impossible that something could be contaminated.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
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Some things, like seafood, I won't keep long at all...other things, like meatloaf, or roast, etc....seem to be fine for 4-5 days refrigerated....
I do try to put things in the fridge as soon as we're done with the meal, especially on a warm day. No use tempting fate!
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:16 AM
 
3,293 posts, read 1,343,486 times
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It's generally not the time, but the temperature, that's a problem with foods sitting out. Cooked or ready to eat stuff should be kept either cold enough or hot enough, depending on the food, to inhibit the growth of bacteria. And there's a big difference between leaving a head of lettuce on the counter as compared to a package of ground beef.

The only food I've heard of with a 3-day refrigerator life is sliced cold cuts - and they have already been in the supermarket for AGES before you even buy them. Unless you're in a very high volume area, how long do you suppose those big hunks of cooked meat have been in the supermarket's fridge? And before that, the place they were processed. Then they were shipped around. They're also handled quite a bit and those gloves only do any good if the employees use them properly. Other people and their germs are the second thing you need to worry about after temperature because you'll get sicker from another person than from a food item, believe me.

Some of the dates take into consideration that your home fridge may be not cold enough. On the other hand, some of the stuff you keep or leave out can be rendered harmless by freezing or reheating, which will kill the room temperature bacteria. And seafood needs more care than anything else since it still accounts for the majority of food related illnesses.

And just in case you did know, while I believe everyone is right about dry items like rice and cocoa powder and a lot of other stuff, COOKED pasta or rice left out will begin to grow botulism.

But we have a store here that sells packaged items with expired dates at ridiculously low prices and it's mobbed all the time and I've never heard of anyone getting sick from breakfast cereal past the best by date, or canned fruit.

Like a few people above said, if you had food poisoning - not an upset stomach, but poisoning, which puts you in the hospital at risk of organ failure, you would never take a chance again. But like everything in life, common sense goes a long way.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:34 AM
 
25,972 posts, read 32,978,177 times
Reputation: 32158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
This thread is about food safekeeping, which is storage of already-cooked foods, rather than food safety during cooking. Anyway, I always read how you should discard cooked foods sitting in the fridge for more than 3 days, and discard cooked foods sitting out for more than 2 hours. I can see that being true for things like milk or eggs, and even that's debatable, but most foods should be perfectly fine after being kept for longer than that. I also see why restaurants would have such strict rules: better safe than sorry, and they waste 40% of their food, anyway. But for home, it doesn't make much sense.

Maybe it's just me, but the "3 days, 2 hours" rule seems extremely overzealous. I always cook meals for the following week during the weekend, and they're still just as good on Friday as they are on Monday. Very rarely does something go bad to the point of me tossing it. And I got sick from something I kept too long maybe two or three times in my adult life. Unless it's 90* at a picnic or something---that's when you use coolers or forego food. Although when it's that hot, my appetite goes down to zero. I'd rather go swimming, then eat in an air-conditioned restaurant. But I digress.

I can't help but smell a rat. I wonder if these overzealous guidelines are meant to increase food waste, so people keep buying more to replace what they threw out.

Thoughts?
Honestly I have never heard of "3 days 2 hours" guideline. I keep food in my fridge until I know it is time to throw it out. Period.

I am 63 and healthy as a horse.
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