How long are leftovers good??? I am so guilty of saving food that I know won’t get eaten. Very guilty. I think most of us have a problem with throwing good food away so into the refrigerator it goes. Most of the time, the next time I see it I have no idea what it was when it went in there. This was on the Good Question the other night so I thought a post about it was a good thing to discuss.
According to all the “experts,” it all depends on how fast you get the food into the fridge and that any longer than two hours can drastically change “how long it will be good.” I can tell you here and now that I have put things away WAY longer than 2 hours after we ate it. Which then leads me to ask why we don’t get sick? Or are we just not sick enough to notice or we may get a slight case of the runs or feel a little “off?” We may not be sick “sick” but just feel “not good?” It also depends on the time of year and how cold or hot it is where you have your food sitting.
Here is a food guide as to how long things will stay “good” in your fridge.
Chicken, Turkey, Fish 1-2 days
Ground Beef/Poultry 1-2 days
Beef, Veal, Pork, Lamb 3-5 days
Cured Ham 5-7 days
Uncooked Sausage 1-2 days
Milk 5-7 days after date
Eggs 3-5 weeks
Bacon, Hot Dogs, Lunch Meat
UNOPENED: 2 weeks
OPENED: 5-7 days
Deli Meat Up to 3 days
Okay, I will say that I keep food a lot longer than this in my fridge. Am I the only one? I’m sorry but I feel this guide is way off. I feel it also depends on how it’s been cured or how it’s been processed. Why is it on, say a package of hot dogs, the expiration date is months away from when you bought it? It’s okay to sit in the store but not in your own fridge? Or is this just a “guideline” for people? If so, I think it’s way off because I’ve had hot dogs or bologna or even bacon in my fridge for a lot longer than it states here and it’s still, if not opened, got another month according to the date stamped on it from the packing plant. Is this some kind of a “scare” tactic??? Here is another link to what expiration dates really mean and according to this report, they don’t mean much.
I’ve also heard that you should always go down the dairy isle last because for example, milk will lose “days” on the expiration date according to “minutes” not kept cold. So things that are kept cold, lose days on that date and none of us know about it? So then what’s the point of the date then? Why the heck in most grocery stores is the dairy isle right in the center of the store? Or way in the back? I know in all our Walmart’s around here, the dairy isle is in the far back corner of the grocery dept. In the grocery store I shop at the most, it’s in the dead center of the store.
I just have one more thing to ask. I know things are different now with all the additives that are added to our food and how things are “made” and prepared but I can remember my grandma used to buy her eggs from her sister who had chickens and she used to by DOZENS of eggs at a time. They were never kept in her fridge. I can see them in my mind to this day sitting in the “egg” spot on her counter. Why now do we have to hurry to get them in the fridge so they don’t spoil? How can eggs be different now?
I also know people who keep things in their fridge that I don’t and vice versa. I know people who keep soy sauce in the fridge. I don’t. A lot of my relatives don’t keep ketchup in theirs but I do. Who knows what’s right and what’s not? Does it have anything to do with the way society is now? If I eat a bad egg and get sick I sue someone??
HELP!! What do you do? Are you guilty of not getting food into the fridge fast enough and do you still eat it? Are you a strict “expiration” date person or if it looks okay, smells okay and feels okay, you will eat it?