When to throw out your leftover food

in StemSocial3 months ago

The other day, I used a can of sardines and had one leftover fish in it. The plan was to eat that one later or the next morning so I kept it in the freezer. As it is with keeping leftover food in the freezer, I forgot about it. About three days later, I opened the freezer and saw a horrific sight. It was that one fish swelled to the extent it was spilling out of the can. I had left a can of sardines in the freezer before but had never seen this.


Was it bad? Was the temperature too low? I had never bought this brand before now and had my doubts about it when I saw it on the shelf but it was cheaper than the regular ones. Could it be this brand didn't need as much low temperature to last? It didn't smell any different but it looked too bad to be ingested. I left it out for a while to observe further changes and it slowly shrunk but not to its original size. I threw it out eventually because I wasn't going to eat it.


Well, all my questions were answered right on the can. It has a shelf-life of four years (it still had two years more to go) and is meant to be refrigerated and consumed within 48 hours of opening.

About canned sardines

Canned sardines can last up to five years if stored properly. It can last that long but then the quality and flavor degrade. As with most canned foods, canned sardines should be kept in a cool and dry place. A can of sardines with dents or rust has most likely gotten some air in it and should be discarded.

My sardines got swollen in three days in the freezer and that's about how long opened cans of sardines last in the freezer. It's advisable to store your opened sardines in a glass or plastic bowl when refrigerated and not leave them in the can to avoid a metallic aftertaste.

Apart from swelling in the refrigerator or freezer, canned sardines and other canned foods can explode upon opening the cans. An explosion can be a result of microbial spoilage, denting, or damage to the can during processing.

But really, how long should you keep leftover food?

I used to think all frozen foods could last as for as long as a year as long as they remained frozen. There is however different duration of time that several foods can last. Some foods last 2-3 months, chicken or turkey can stay up to 1 year and leftover soups or stews can stay up to 2 months depending on the ingredients used.

What you should consider when dealing with frozen food is that no matter how long a type of food can stay in the freezer, whenever you thaw it to take a portion out, you have exposed it to microbial activity, thereby reducing its quality. It's very common in most households to thaw their food and then take it back (I do it too). Months after, the food still looks like it's great quality but does that inherently make it safe? I don't think so.

According to the FDA, leftover food can stay up to 2 months in the freezer. With a fridge, most foods only stay a few days not exceeding the 7-day mark. In case of power outages, it's advised to discard a select number of foods that have been thawed and stored in the fridge or freezer with a temperature above 40 F. The quality of the food diminishes and it's not advisable to taste it to check for quality. In the case where the food still has ice crystals on it, you probably need to refreeze but note that the food quality must have been reduced or the taste affected.

In conclusion, it's very easy to ingest spoilt food because of our improper ways of storing food. This is why we have to intentionally watch what we eat, how we cook our food and how we store them. Always check product info on canned foods and avoid foods with very close expiry dates. Throw what needs to be thrown out, if you're undecided if it's stayed longer than it should, that's a sign to throw it out. Never gamble with food or your health.

  1. https://oureverydaylife.com/how-long-do-shucked-oysters-stay-fresh-12407669.html

  2. http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/what-causes-canned-goods-swell-andor-even-explode-0

  3. https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage


This is official the first time I'm seeing a fish swell like this, it's surprising that it doesn't smell so bad probably because it was refrigerated.

I'm always careful with canned or refrigerated foods. I prefer it fresh.

Posted via proofofbrain.io

The swollen sardine is really a scary sight...I try to avoid eating canned foods altogether, it's an unhealthy way to live

Since seeing it, I've unintentionally avoided canned foods too.

Good move

Well,this life,some people's are crying to feed their family why some have left over to trowel,it sand wonderful but in the name of Jesus who ever that lacking for food shall have it in Jesus name amen.

Posted via proofofbrain.io

Even those in lack sometimes get leftovers that spoil and it shouldn't be eaten too.

Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider supporting our funding proposal, approving our witness (@stem.witness) or delegating to the @stemsocial account (for some ROI).

Please consider using the STEMsocial app app and including @stemsocial as a beneficiary to get a stronger support. 



@wolfofnostreet! This post has been manually curated by the $PIZZA Token team!

Learn more about $PIZZA Token at hive.pizza. Enjoy a slice of $PIZZA on us!

 3 months ago 

That...does not look like sardines...

It was so disgusting man. I don't even know how she had the stomach to look at that thing and snap pictures, I was too disgusted to even be in the same room with it.

 3 months ago 


But it is 😄😄

 3 months ago Reveal Comment