|They may look pretty under a microscope, but e coli can be deadly.|
Several years ago I landed in the hospital for three days, thanks to a serious case of food poisoning. The hospital was never able to determine what had caused the food poisoning. I’m not someone who will eat something that looks or smells bad. But it turns out you can’t always tell if food is contaminated by looking at it or smelling it. “Use by” and “sell by” dates aren’t reliable gauges of determining if foods are safe safe. They focus on quality, not safety. Besides, once the package is opened, all bets are off.
Frozen foods keep indefinitely, but the quality of the food can deteriorate over time. For refrigerated food follow these recommendations. And remember: when in doubt, throw it out.
Eggs: 3-5 weeks for fresh eggs, 1 week for hardboiled
Bacon: 1 week for raw, 4-5 days for cooked
Ground meat: 1-2 days for raw, 3-4 days for cooked
Hot dogs: 2 weeks if the package is unopened, 1 week if opened
Deli meats: 2 weeks for unopened packages, 3-4 days if opened or for freshly sliced from the deli counter
Meats: 3-5 days for raw, 3-4 days for cooked
Poultry: 1-2 days for raw, 3-4 days for cooked
Fish/shellfish: 1-2 days for raw, 3-4 days for cooked
Milk: 2-3 days beyond sell-by date
Prepared deli salads: 3-5 days