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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:25 pm 
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I love how this thread is basically a really long argument between those that say 'go for it' ad those that say 'don't risk it'.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:28 pm 
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I mean doesn't it always just come down to whether you're one of those people or you aren't?

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:16 pm 
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"Am I going to eat this? The official thread"

(I vote eat it!)

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:26 pm 
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Fee wrote:
I mean doesn't it always just come down to whether you're one of those people or you aren't?


Sort of. I didn't know about rice, and am much more careful about that and rice noodles now. And I'm gearing up to probably eat the tofu from 2011 when before I was thinking I'd probably end up chucking it.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:32 pm 
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2011 TOFU JUST MAKES YOU STRONGER

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Fee wrote:
I mean doesn't it always just come down to whether you're one of those people or you aren't?

Ohhh. Uh-huh. One of those people? I see how it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:00 pm 
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I kind of think it's more best-before/expiry dates vs. food safety for leaving things out. I'll eat yogurt that's recently expired, but if I forget a pack of tofu on the counter overnight, I'll pitch it.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:02 am 
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It's like I said upthread, but no one ever listens to meeeeee...

There are people who are more risk-averse when it comes to food and those of us that are less risk-averse (and that includes me). That's a given. As is the fact that neither of us really understands the other group - I'm as puzzled by Beanitarian's 2 hour limit for all foods as, I'm sure, zhe is by my scooping sugar mould off marmalade and eating the rest. So it makes no sense in this thread at all for us all keep restating our positions. So tofu overnight on the counter for me would be something I would and do happily use, for example, but that's not going to change bodhi's mind about it.

My view is the only real value in commenting on new queries is for the risk-averse to say when they WOULD eat a food being questioned, and for the risk-takers to say when stuff is so dodgy that even they WOUDN'T eat it. Or to post sarcastic comments about fezza's bowel distress, obvs.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:18 am 
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I agree, but if we hold to that code, the person asking often won't get any answer at all, because most cases are in that gray area between very safe and probably not-safe. Maybe it would be best if the questions in this thread come with instructions on what kind of advice people want, from the risk-averse or the not so risk-averse (like me).

People can change their mind though, like appifanie, who says she is usually risk-averse, but nonetheless decided to eat her overnight chickpeas.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:25 am 
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Okay, so along the lines of the Pirate Code, we are creating the..... Botulism Code?

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:11 am 
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Ruby Rose wrote:
It's like I said upthread, but no one ever listens to meeeeee...

There are people who are more risk-averse when it comes to food and those of us that are less risk-averse (and that includes me). That's a given. As is the fact that neither of us really understands the other group - I'm as puzzled by Beanitarian's 2 hour limit for all foods as, I'm sure, zhe is by my scooping sugar mould off marmalade and eating the rest. So it makes no sense in this thread at all for us all keep restating our positions. So tofu overnight on the counter for me would be something I would and do happily use, for example, but that's not going to change bodhi's mind about it.

My view is the only real value in commenting on new queries is for the risk-averse to say when they WOULD eat a food being questioned, and for the risk-takers to say when stuff is so dodgy that even they WOUDN'T eat it. Or to post sarcastic comments about fezza's bowel distress, obvs.

2 hours is based on scientific measurements of bacterial growth in food. It's not voodoo or based on being grossed out or any other feeling or fear. It is directly from food safety guidelines from the CDC and USDA.

Moldy marmalade is not likely to make you sick if you have a normal immune system because of the very high sugar content inhibiting bacterial growth, but eating moldy food on a regular basis does put you at risk for stomach cancer.

I completely understand not wanting to waste food--I've been there, but it bit me in the asparagus (literally) a couple of times and I've decided that isn't worth my money.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:20 pm 
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Beanitarian wrote:
2 hours is based on scientific measurements of bacterial growth in food. It's not voodoo or based on being grossed out or any other feeling or fear. It is directly from food safety guidelines from the CDC and USDA.

Moldy marmalade is not likely to make you sick if you have a normal immune system because of the very high sugar content inhibiting bacterial growth, but eating moldy food on a regular basis does put you at risk for stomach cancer.

I completely understand not wanting to waste food--I've been there, but it bit me in the asparagus (literally) a couple of times and I've decided that isn't worth my money.

Hmmm. Didn't express myself very well. I didn't mean I don't understand about bacterial growth. Of course. I meant that, as an example, the 2 hour chuck-out limit is your interpretation of the evidence and guidelines, and that's absolutely and perfectly appropriate. But food hygiene recommendations do not say that all foods after two hours at room temperature are spoiled to such an extent that they cause food poisoning, or that stomach cancer is a very significant risk from cutting the fuzzy part off pears and juicing the rest. I'm not in anyway saying the parameters within which you feel comfortable eating or pitching food are wrong, but I guess I am asking you to acknowledge that the actual risks of eating outside those parameters are not inevitably and inviolably risk-laden. For example, in hospitals in which I work, there is no requirement to throw out food which has been brought in at room temperature by relatives, but there are guidelines about the temperature to which it must be reheated to be safely eaten by people with even compromised immune systems.

I say this, however, as a person whose grandparents never had any refrigeration, (and I have lived without a fridge myself for some years at several times in my life without a problem), and whose feelings about food waste are inevitably influenced by parents grew up with a wartime experience of chronic food shortages.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:51 pm 
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You know what's super gross? In the fruit stand I used to work at we would regularly just go through the moldy produce in a container (grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bags of potatoes or onions) and just throw away the one that was bad. It was super gross because you could definitely tell the grossness had touched the other pieces but you couldn't stop and carefully inspect each and every particle, just do your best on a pass through and get through it quick - so yeah, you'd miss some sometimes. The worst was the raspberries and blackberries, they go so bad so quick and then basically disintegrate upon touch. And sometimes the only gross one would be at the very middle or very bottom. I'm still too grossed out to buy berries fresh. And people are always like omg why would you buy your strawberries from Whole Food when you can get them so much cheaper at that stand right there ...yeah, that's why, Whole Foods has a much different produce selection process than that cheap place.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Ruby Rose wrote:
Hmmm. Didn't express myself very well. I didn't mean I don't understand about bacterial growth. Of course. I meant that, as an example, the 2 hour chuck-out limit is your interpretation of the evidence and guidelines, and that's absolutely and perfectly appropriate. But food hygiene recommendations do not say that all foods after two hours at room temperature are spoiled to such an extent that they cause food poisoning, or that stomach cancer is a very significant risk from cutting the fuzzy part off pears and juicing the rest. I'm not in anyway saying the parameters within which you feel comfortable eating or pitching food are wrong, but I guess I am asking you to acknowledge that the actual risks of eating outside those parameters are not inevitably and inviolably risk-laden. For example, in hospitals in which I work, there is no requirement to throw out food which has been brought in at room temperature by relatives, but there are guidelines about the temperature to which it must be reheated to be safely eaten by people with even compromised immune systems.

You are confusing a lot of different issues. In the case of your hospital, it makes perfect sense that patients can choose to eat whatever food they want if brought in by relatives regardless of the risks, but if food is served by the hospital, there should essentially be zero risk of that food causing illness. No one should be getting food poisoning from hospital food.

Food safety recommendations do indeed apply to all foods, and there is real risk in eating foods that were prepared outside of those guidelines. The risk of illness might be relatively small, for example 1 in 20, but it is real and there is no way for a lay person to test whether pathogenic bacteria (which are odorless or tasteless) are present in unsafe amounts or not. 2 hours is the scientifically tested limit for leaving all cooked foods out at room temperature before chilling: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/chill/index.html Now, I'm not sure exactly how that limit was determine mathematically (for example, what the risk of food poisoning is at 2 hours vs 3 hours), but I could probably find out if you are interested.

The constant recommendations in this thread to smell and taste potentially unsafe food as some kind of test are completely wrong. Those methods might work for food spoilage bacteria and mold, but they do not work for food poisoning bacteria.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Beanitarian wrote:
The constant recommendations in this thread to smell and taste potentially unsafe food as some kind of test are completely wrong. Those methods might work for food spoilage bacteria and mold, but they do not work for food poisoning bacteria.

I know you are technically right about this, but I have been employing this method all my life, and have never experienced food poisoning. So my personal experience tells me that for me at least, the method seems to work. However, I completely respect you for not using this method and making different choices than I would.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:00 pm 
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The thing about this thread is, it's dumb. I started it to stop people from posting a million threads for each individual food item they were curious about. The best answer to every question in this thread is "no. don't eat that. throw it out." Most people know they should probably throw something out, but they just don't want to because maybe they spent a long time cooking something or are broke and don't want to waste food. Most of the advice here is anecdotal and people can do with that what they wish.

If I were acting as an actual registered dietitian and was in a clinical setting, I would say no, you absolutely cannot eat that. it will kill you. but in reality, I've eaten tofu left out overnight, and eaten tempeh WAY past it's expiration date and been totally fine.

I think people know they aren't SUPPOSED to eat the foods they're asking about. they're just asking, hoping someone will tell them they've eaten a similar thing and lived. Advice on the internet is almost always terrible.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:49 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
The thing about this thread is, it's dumb.

...

Advice on the internet is almost always terrible.

best.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:53 pm 
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ijdi is wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Beanitarian wrote:
... 2 hours is the scientifically tested limit for leaving all cooked foods out at room temperature before chilling: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/chill/index.html Now, I'm not sure exactly how that limit was determine mathematically (for example, what the risk of food poisoning is at 2 hours vs 3 hours), but I could probably find out if you are interested...


Surely it varies by the type of food you've cooked, and how you've cooked it?

Say I've boiled up a batch of soaked chickpeas in bulk and then I've left them to cool, because we're not supposed to put warm things in the fridge. Then I've had to go out and hadn't a chance to put them in the fridge within 2 hours of them cooling to room temperature. The chickpeas have been boiled for a prolonged period, and they're covered. How would pathogenic bacteria then get to work?

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Actually, you are supposed to put warm things in the fridge. You shouldn't fill your fridge with hot food, but if you leave enough air space to circulate around the warm food, it will cool faster and grow less bacteria than at room temp, as well as being safe for other foods in your fridge. Leaving the top off until things are cool is another tip for faster cooling.

I think that website I linked to should explain this, but cooling at room temperature isn't necessary and it is safer to cool things faster, such as in an ice bath or in the fridge.

As far as pathogenic bacteria and where they come from, they are in the food to begin with, on your hands and utensils, and even potentially on dust particles in the air. Cooking can kill some bacteria, but it isn't 100%. Unless you are canning using safe and tested methods, cooked foods aren't sterile.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:44 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:33 am 
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I have to admit to eating expired peanut butter and I'm about to try some expired unopened shelf stable soymilk, but neither of those things have dates on them for safety but rather for quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:23 am 
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I am so confused as to what would be lurking in a pot of chickpeas sitting overnight in the water they were boiled in.

The CDC and USDA guidelines are made for the most part not for home use but in commercial kitchens. I figure most folks on this board do not follow the USDA's guidelines for dairy and meat intake so it would be normal to view them with distrust.

In my opinion, most food poisoning bacteria comes from contaminated food you bring into your kitchen. Of course the government is not going to tell you the reason most of the food borne outbreaks are from factory farming. USDA makes money "inspecting" these plants and who wants to be out of a job.

I love how http://www.foodsafety.gov/index.html just tells you what you should do but gives very little about the why. By the way 10 or 20 years ago it was 4 hours.

I was going to ask about some tofu but yeh, never mind. I will chance it.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:43 am 
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So I just realized I ate some brown rice that had been used 10 DAYS ago. I mean, it was cooked, then stored in the fridge as leftovers. And I ate it today thinking it was only a few days old... okay??

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 Post subject: Re: Should I eat this? The official thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:51 am 
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Hopefully it doesn't bother your stomach, but just for future reference, old rice is not normally a good choice. It goes off very quickly and easily.

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