Food poisoning is an all-around unpleasant experience, and the last place you want to get it from is your own home refrigerator. But when trying to save money (and prevent food waste) it’s tempting to try and nibble on something that may or may not have gone bad.
There are a few reasons you might be tempted to eat something that’s been in your fridge for a while. Maybe you splurged on some fancy cheese and don’t want to let it go to waste. Maybe you chopped some vegetables and it pains you to toss them. Or maybe last week, you headed to the grocery store, loaded up on everything you planned on cooking with that week, and then just didn’t.
Does all that food have to go to waste? Or can you repurpose it still into another meal? Some foods can last far longer than you’d expect in your refrigerator. Others have a harsh expiration date that you do not want to cross. Eating food after it’s gone bad can result in more than just indigestion.
It all depends on the kind of food you’re eating. Some foods can cause nothing more than a little discomfort if you eat them after they’re past their prime. Other foods can result in infection by parasites, Listeria, or even E. coli. Clearly broken down by each type of food — including both leftovers and fresh ingredients — here’s a simple guide for how to tell what’s still good in your fridge.