FDA food guidelines are in place for a reason. Deadly bacteria and foodborne pathogens will make food unsafe if it is not kept properly stored. Food poisoning affects 48 million people in the US each year, about 1 in 6 people, according to the CDC. Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized from getting ill from food poisoning and on average 3,000 die.
Food Poisoning Symptoms & Causes
Food poisoning is not fun. It can occur as soon as 20 minutes after eating spoiled food and even up to 6 weeks after ingesting the bacteria. The major symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Some may also experience chills, fever, headaches and body aches.
In most cases symptoms will prevail after 1-2 days but in some cases, it may take weeks for the person to stop feeling ill. Those with compromised immune systems are also at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms of food poisoning.
Food Safety Guidelines
Knowing all about food safety can greatly reduce your odds of getting ill from foodborne bacteria. Avoiding the raw clam and oyster bar at your cousin’s cocktail hour can also increase your chances of avoiding food sickness but that is just a personal tip from experience. The FDA lays out strict guidelines for food safety for both refrigerated food and food that is kept in the freezer.
The team at howlongtocook.org took those guidelines and created this visual ‘how long can you keep food in the fridge’ that would make a great addition to any kitchen residential or commercial. Even though my father has routinely kept and eaten hot dogs from the freezer way past their time, this guide tells us hot dogs in the freezer are best kept for up to two months.
According to this list hard-boiled eggs last a week in the refrigerator and liquid egg substitute once opened, should only stay refrigerated for up to 3 days. Some of these may surprise you but if you’ve ever had food poisoning then you know how important it is to take food safety seriously.
Here’s How Long Your Food Actually Lasts in the Fridge
It’s time to think about how long your food will last in the fridge. The answer, unfortunately, is not as cut and dry as you may think. When it comes to leftovers, for example, the rule of thumb is that they will be safe to eat after 3-4 days if stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. However, this isn’t always the case.
Follow these guidelines for storing food in the fridge to keep it tasty and safe to eat.