Is that safe to eat?

My friend Wanda forwarded this GUIDE TO THE FUNKY FOOD IN YOUR KITCHEN.

I found it very educational. I hope it can assist you also.

Q: I went spelunking in my freezer and unearthed a burger patty from 2004. Should I toss it?

A: In a freezer set at 0° F (check using a refrigerator thermometer), frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. How long taste and texture stay OK depends on the meat. Frozen bacon and sausage retain their quality for a month or two; uncooked burgers, three to four months; uncooked steaks and roasts, four months to a year. Date food labels with an indelible marker as they go into the freezer.

Q: How long do refrigerated eggs last?

A: Federally graded fresh eggs in their shells are safe for three to five weeks after the expiration date on the carton; raw yolks and whites, for two to four days; hardcooked eggs, for one week. Try to keep the refrigerator temperature lower than 38° F.

Q: My refrigerated ground meat is gray. Wili turn green if I eat it?

A: A change in color does not necessarily mean the product is spoiled or will make you sick. Spoiled meat is likely to have an off odor or be sticky or slimy.

Q: Must peanut butter be refrigerated after it's opened?

A: That depends on the type. Regular peanut butter does not need refrigeration, though that might help retain its flavor. Refrigeration will keep natural peanut butter fresh and slow the process of separation but will make it hard to spread.

Q: If I cut those tiny bits of mold off the cheddar, will it be OK?

A: Maybe not, because spoilage (and sometimes toxins) could go beyond the visible mold. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that if you cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot, hard cheeses can still be safely consumed. (Intentional mold, such as that found on Stilton, is safe because it has purposely been introduced during the cheese-making process and is "good" mold.)

Q: I left pizza on the counter overnight. Can I eat It?

A: No. Perishable food, including any leftovers, should neyer be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. This is true even if there are no meat products on the pizza. Bacteria that might be present on foods grow fastest at temperatures between 40° F and 140° F and can double in number every 20 minutes. Use cooked, refrigerated leftovers within four days.

Q: I repeatedly refill a plastic spring-water bottle with tap water. Good Idea?

A: Probably not. It may be OK to reuse a botte a few times, but handwash it with hot soapy water between uses, or bacteria could grow. (Don't use a dishwasher: Its super-hot water could affect the plastic, and narrow bottlenecks might not let in enough water.)

Q: How long can I keep herbs and spices?

A: Ground spices can be kept for two or three years; whole spices for three or four years; herbs for one to three years. Air, light, moisture, and heat are enemies, so store spice.s and herbs tightly sealed in a cool, dry place. Red spices retain their color better and are best protected from
insects if refrigerated. If you don't use an item often, buy it in small amounts.

Q: How effective Is the "sniff" test?

A: Food that doesn't smell bad can still make you sick, and food that smells bad might not make you sick. Whatever you do, don't taste food to see whether it's spoiled. When in doubt. throw it out.

For more information about food storage, go to wwwJsis.usda.gov, www.cfsanJda.gov, or www.cdc.gov.


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