Health, The Good Life

Throw it Out

If you’re in house organizing mode, this may be a good time to tackle the kitchen pantry and fridge.

Only foods that have a ‘durable life’ of 90 days or less must have a best-before date. So here a few tips on deciding what to throw out.

Let’s start with those bottles of ketchup, pickles and relish.

Because they contain vinegar, which acts as a preservative, they can maintain their quality after being opened for at least a couple of months.

Exactly how long depends on how often you use them. Removing jars from the fridge and letting them warm up to room temperature can lead to bacterial growth.

Commercially prepared mayonnaise also contains vinegar, but it must be refrigerated once opened and spend as little time as possible in room-temperature air, as the eggs it contains make a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Foods packed in oil, such as sun-dried tomatoes, can last a year. But it’s crucial that any foods be kept below the oil line.

Margarine and butter can last four months in the fridge; jams and jellies, are good for up to eight months.

Eat Right Ontario, a service of the provincial government says canned  tomatoes and fruit should be used within 18 months, and canned vegetables have a shelf life of 2 to five years. The problem may be figuring out how long you’ve had this stuff. It’s not wrth the risk of food poisoning. The experts advise “when in doubt through it out.”

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