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Old 03-30-2019, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,492 posts, read 1,595,432 times
Reputation: 4387

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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?
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:24 AM
 
Location: equator
3,427 posts, read 1,524,633 times
Reputation: 8499
Totally agree. I ignore all that stuff. Like with my clothes, I do the appearance and smell test, LOL.

If it's cooked, I'll eat it a week or more. I am enjoying some cocoa powder now that I just noticed is 3 years past sell-date. I'll let you know what happens.

You can be certain that all this "guideline" propaganda is profit-driven. Follow the money.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:32 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,964 posts, read 55,724,604 times
Reputation: 89640
Yes. Most of the food safekeeping is just marketing... No evidence of science or common sense at all.
But, hey - considering the staple topic on this forum, it's working! No matter how many times we explain and reveal reliable sources, that topic bounces back like a boomerang.
Old habits die hard...
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:36 AM
Status: "Elect a clown? Expect a circus!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
58,169 posts, read 40,966,092 times
Reputation: 29897
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?


I think they're more a product of a litigious society.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:54 AM
 
1,172 posts, read 477,867 times
Reputation: 1927
I think this depends on how strongly you take the “better safe than sorry” maxim. Given how unpleasant food poisoning can be, it can be prudent. But YMMV.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:41 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,724,856 times
Reputation: 30796
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?

How is the ambient temperature? A tuna sandwich sitting in a backpack in a cool room is far more likely to be just fine than a bowl of tuna sitting on a picnic table in the direct sunlight with flies buzzing around and kids scooping out fingers full, licking their fingers, then going in for another scoop.

And it depends on the food, too. Foods in very salty or acidic conditions simply last longer. Foods that are, by design, for longkeeping like cheese or unsliced bacon, beef jerkey, etc.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:52 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
Reputation: 20048
If I am in a commercial kitchen, I follow ALL food safety rules to the maximum. If you have an outbreak of a food borne illness that can be traced to a food that you produced, it results in an immediate loss of reputation (ask Chipotle and Jack In The Box). There is also potential litigation.

At home, I am probably less stringent on the rules ... especially as it involves tasting and the like. However, after years in the commercial kitchen, most of the good habits are so ingrained that I do follow most of the rules.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:52 PM
 
10,086 posts, read 4,022,502 times
Reputation: 25523
I agree with you about a lot of this.

Food that's cooked and refrigerated will be unappealing looking/tasting before it will actually harm you. It will taste "off", where food poisoning usually comes from foods that taste perfectly fine and appear fresh.

Also, I think all foods HAVE to have an expiration date - even sugar and dried beans and rice. Really? I don't think that rice is going to go bad anytime soon.

It's like make up, too, and mattresses. Manufacturers of make up and mattresses try to tell you they become unhealthy after a few years.

Um, no.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,372 posts, read 2,970,878 times
Reputation: 12853
I agree it is a marketing ploy, to make people buy more food. I hate to throw out foods, so I only do so, if it has gone off, & smells bad. But there again, when I used to visit my Grandmother who for the first part of my life, lived in a rural area, with no electricity, ( no fridge) & I loved whatever she made.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,876 posts, read 1,648,337 times
Reputation: 10159
I've had bad food poisoning too many times.
I would much rather toss out food that's been sitting too long than take the chance of illness.

Sure, you won't get sick 9 times out of 10, but that 10th one is awful.
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