Author Topic: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?  (Read 15525 times)

Ottawa

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2014, 09:02:53 AM »
Does it taste/smell similar to the original dish?  If yes, dig in.  If not, add hot sauce prior to digging in.

This is decent advice!  I practice it, with a slight modification. 

I'm a firm believer in combining a bunch of older leftovers and recooking them.  If cooked properly, there is no issue of getting food poisoning.  They may have a possible off-taste; hence the hot sauce or spice.

Leftover uncooked items are another area of interest.  Say you have some ground beef, or a chicken breast leftover from the original BIG ASS family pack. 
First smell. 
Nothing?  Good to go.
Mild aroma?  In the case of chicken - marinate in some lemon juice.  Then cook well.   For ground meat cook well.  For steak/roasty things - as long as not mechanically tenderized...cook as normal.  If mechanically tenderized - turn into ground meat and cook accordingly (unless you like well done steak/roast).
Major nauseating aroma/rainbow meat?  Cook the shit out of to eradicate bacteria - then slather on a fuck-ton of hot sauce to mask any bad taste.   

Veg and fruit - you aren't likely to get food poisoning as is - soup or juice.  If they can't be eaten raw (limp/mushy) - cook. 

If you don't get sick - you aren't going close enough to the edge.  Push your best-before dates out until you feel a bit dodgy...then pull back a day.  :-)

Cpa Cat

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2014, 09:07:12 AM »
I try not to make too many leftovers. My ideal is to have only enough for lunch the next day. If the item freezes well, then I'll make more and freeze it for lunches.

I'm willing to eat leftovers for dinner within 2 days. I leave them in the fridge for up to 5 to see if my husband eats them (he has a higher threshold for leftovers).

We have very little food waste (veggie scraps are composted or made into stock + composted, and we're vegetarian). Sometimes bread goes moldy before we finish it - so I try not to buy it without a plan for using it. Mostly, when you open our fridge, it looks pretty bare - because I buy the minimum for the week.

frugalnacho

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2014, 09:51:17 AM »
Does it taste/smell similar to the original dish?  If yes, dig in.  If not, add hot sauce prior to digging in.

This is decent advice!  I practice it, with a slight modification. 

I'm a firm believer in combining a bunch of older leftovers and recooking them.  If cooked properly, there is no issue of getting food poisoning.  They may have a possible off-taste; hence the hot sauce or spice.

Leftover uncooked items are another area of interest.  Say you have some ground beef, or a chicken breast leftover from the original BIG ASS family pack. 
First smell. 
Nothing?  Good to go.
Mild aroma?  In the case of chicken - marinate in some lemon juice.  Then cook well.   For ground meat cook well.  For steak/roasty things - as long as not mechanically tenderized...cook as normal.  If mechanically tenderized - turn into ground meat and cook accordingly (unless you like well done steak/roast).
Major nauseating aroma/rainbow meat?  Cook the shit out of to eradicate bacteria - then slather on a fuck-ton of hot sauce to mask any bad taste.   

Veg and fruit - you aren't likely to get food poisoning as is - soup or juice.  If they can't be eaten raw (limp/mushy) - cook. 

If you don't get sick - you aren't going close enough to the edge.  Push your best-before dates out until you feel a bit dodgy...then pull back a day.  :-)

That sounds dangerous.  Once food spoils it is poisoned.  It's not the bacteria, it's the bacterial byproducts, and those don't go away when you kill the bacteria.

Ottawa

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2014, 11:49:24 AM »
That sounds dangerous.  Once food spoils it is poisoned.  It's not the bacteria, it's the bacterial byproducts, and those don't go away when you kill the bacteria.

Correct me if I'm wrong...but I don't think so.  The most (un)common toxin found in spoiled foods is that from Clostridium botulinum.  This is not something that typically grows in your fridge, rather it is usually found as the result of improper home-canning techniques.  Generally anaerobic conditions are required.  Besides that, the toxin itself is destroyed above 165F. 

frugalnacho

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2014, 12:39:03 PM »
That sounds dangerous.  Once food spoils it is poisoned.  It's not the bacteria, it's the bacterial byproducts, and those don't go away when you kill the bacteria.

Correct me if I'm wrong...but I don't think so.  The most (un)common toxin found in spoiled foods is that from Clostridium botulinum.  This is not something that typically grows in your fridge, rather it is usually found as the result of improper home-canning techniques.  Generally anaerobic conditions are required.  Besides that, the toxin itself is destroyed above 165F.

So basically your position is that food never spoils, and simply heating any food (regardless of age or bacterial growth) to 165F renders it safe to consume? Interesting.

kyanamerinas

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2014, 12:53:16 PM »
Interesting that the consensus seems to be a week. I've always thought three days but maybe I should get that. But generally I cook 6 portions for the 2 of us: 2 for now, 2 for a few days time, 2 for the freezer.

shelivesthedream

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2014, 01:15:44 PM »
A day or so on the counter, at least week in the fridge, until doomsday in the freezer.

However, there are some caveats:

- I don't eat a lot of meat. Meaty leftovers are eaten the next day or go straight into the freezer.
- When taking leftovers for lunch, I microwave the heck out of them so they are too hot to eat for a good five minutes.
- Some foods have special rules, like rice has to be eaten the next day and cooked properly, or else it goes straight into the freezer.
- I am really funny about mould. Once there is a speck of the green stuff, everything in that container is tainted. My husband scrapes it off and eats it anyway (and I am pretty sure he has scraped it off and served it to me without telling me a few times...) but I just can't.

All in all, I am pretty cavalier about it but have only had food poisoning once from some dodgy ice cream in a gelateria. If I ever get it again from my own food, I might reconsider.

Ottawa

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2014, 01:23:36 PM »
That sounds dangerous.  Once food spoils it is poisoned.  It's not the bacteria, it's the bacterial byproducts, and those don't go away when you kill the bacteria.

Correct me if I'm wrong...but I don't think so.  The most (un)common toxin found in spoiled foods is that from Clostridium botulinum.  This is not something that typically grows in your fridge, rather it is usually found as the result of improper home-canning techniques.  Generally anaerobic conditions are required.  Besides that, the toxin itself is destroyed above 165F.

So basically your position is that food never spoils, and simply heating any food (regardless of age or bacterial growth) to 165F renders it safe to consume? Interesting.

Hah!  I personally don't let things go that far.  From a strictly speaking standpoint, I think you can eat horribly rotten shit if you heat it up enough.  The question is more one of taste.  I wouldn't eat anything that has degraded to the point that it doesn't taste right - generally if I haven't eaten leftovers within a week...there's probably a reason - the food was crap in the first place. 

dorothyc

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2014, 02:13:09 PM »
A day or so on the counter, at least week in the fridge, until doomsday in the freezer.

However, there are some caveats:

- I don't eat a lot of meat. Meaty leftovers are eaten the next day or go straight into the freezer.
- When taking leftovers for lunch, I microwave the heck out of them so they are too hot to eat for a good five minutes.
- Some foods have special rules, like rice has to be eaten the next day and cooked properly, or else it goes straight into the freezer.
- I am really funny about mould. Once there is a speck of the green stuff, everything in that container is tainted. My husband scrapes it off and eats it anyway (and I am pretty sure he has scraped it off and served it to me without telling me a few times...) but I just can't.

All in all, I am pretty cavalier about it but have only had food poisoning once from some dodgy ice cream in a gelateria. If I ever get it again from my own food, I might reconsider.

This is a good link explaining the types of mold and whether the moldy food in question can still be eaten

http://www.foodreference.com/html/mold-on-food.html

galliver

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2014, 03:35:00 PM »
I'll throw things out if...
1) Odd smell, texture, flavor
2) Roughly a week old...although it sort of depends on food. I won't do stir fry after more than a day or two. I generally try to avoid reheated stir fry, actually. But it's more gross after multiple days.
3) Stored improperly (accidentally left out overnight, e.g.) Although my bf makes fun of me for my exception to this: I make meat-stuffed bread rolls called pirozhki and leave them out at room temp overnight. Maybe I feel better because the meat is twice-cooked (fried or boiled, then baked) and they never last >24 hours? No one has ever gotten sick, at any rate. Bf and his family leave a stick of butter out of the fridge. They have also never gotten sick from this.

Staph and botulism produce heat-resistant toxins that are tasteless and odorless. Perhaps I can't prevent every possibility of this, but I can do the obvious things, like keeping food hot/cold in a reasonable time and throwing out anything suspicious. I'd rather do that than risk getting sick. Maybe I should put those pirozhki in the fridge.

Beric01

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #60 on: October 15, 2014, 04:00:44 PM »
If there's not mold growing on it I'll eat it 2-3 weeks after. Nothing lasts that long in my fridge, though.

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Re: What's your threshold for eating leftovers?
« Reply #61 on: October 15, 2014, 04:12:19 PM »
If there has been a color or smell change (bad smell) or if there is something growing on it, then I'll throw it out. But I don't go by how many days have passed.


I never have leftovers last longer than 2-3 days. Eat dish the same day as cooked, take in lunch next day, eat for dinner that night... and it is usually gone at that point. But it's a happy time when we discover there's enough left for one more meal. Neither one of us gets sick of eating certain foods - if we liked it enough to fix it once, then we're happy to eat on it for days. I can't even imagine throwing out something we cooked - this never happens. But I definitely would freeze something if it really was to the point of having so much we couldn't finish it without getting sick of it.