Clean out the refrigerator



Do you ever wonder how long you should keep those things in our refrigerator that we think [should] last forever? In a recent article by the Stanford Heart Network in Stanford, California researchers explain that bacteria will grow even in our 40 degree refrigerators. Don't forget many of these foods are removed from the refrigerator and they sit out on our counter giving further opportunity for unwanted critters to accumulate in our food.

When To Throw It Out

This is a short list of the types of foods most of us keep in our refrigerator.

Food Dump After
Eggs, hard cooked 1 week
Eggs, raw 4 -5 weeks after "pack date"
Fruit Juices 7 - 10 days
Ground Coffee 2 weeks
Hard cheese 3 - 4 weeks
Jam & Jelly 6 months
Ketchup 6 months
Mayonnaise 2 months
Oils 4 months
Olives 2 weeks
Pickles 3-6 months
Salsa 30 days
 Vegetables - leafy
 2-4 days

Note:   This chart refers to foods in opened containers with the exception of eggs.

Fun Fact about Clean out the refrigerator

Other Reasons To Toss It Out

  • Nutritional Loss - Certain vitamins and minerals (water soluble) are destroyed rapidly upon exposure to air.
  • Flavor Deterioration - Some foods are susceptible to absorbing odors from other foods. Keep refrigerated items properly sealed. Store raw eggs away from strong-ordor foods.

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Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.