Tips When in doubt, throw it out


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This applies to food, but also could apply to many other things. If you find yourself debating whether you should eat that piece of chicken that's sat for too long or that one piece of food that doesn't look or smell quite right, don't. Unless you're in a life or death situation, throw it out.

For cheese and bread or anything that can get moldy, you can't cut out the mold. Even if you cut it out it will have grown micelles all around the food. For meat, if it feels slimey, is concerningly discolored or smells of ammonia, DO NOT EAT.

For rice, do not keep it isolated in a warm and humid spot (e.g. sealable bowls) and leave it. Any starchy food that has been kept at room temperature for more than a couple of hours runs the risk of poisoning you.
@ropal9 One partial exception to this rule: Dairy.

The best piece of advice I got on determining if milk was good came from a chef who was teaching cheese-making. He said, "Dairy does not go bad subtly." There were many times when I would smell milk, and be on the fence about whether it was still good or not. Going by his advice, I drank it, and never experienced ill effects.

Anyone who has smelled milk that is truly spoiled can tell you that it smells AWFUL. So, in short, if you're smelling something subtle, or you're not sure whether your milk is still good or not, it's most likely fine.
@lilapurple First time I ever encountered bagged milk, I was 9 & on the first morning of an international trip with my family.

The adults were all jet lagged & sleeping in & I was hungry so I went to the grocery store across the street & bought a box of cereal & a bag of milk (which I thought was funny but it was all that they had).

I asked the cashier how to open it & she said that I just cut off the corner of the bag to make a spout & pour it carefully.

I sat down, poured a bowl of cereal, held the bag of milk upright with one hand & neatly snipped off the corner of the bag with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Then instead of a bag of milk, I had a milk fountain.

It went everywhere.

I still, to this day, nearly 40 years later, have an aversion to bagged milk.
@h31s I did this, just with a freshly opened (hard plastic) gallon jug as a child, too! 😂😂😂 I felt this post so hard! I've read they now have "pitchers" you fit the bags into in order to reduce the fountain effect, though!
@namone Yeah they had those pitchers back then also, in fact there was even one of those pitchers in the kitchen cabinet that we used for the rest of that trip.

I had just never seen anyone use milk from a bag before & the lady at the checkout didn’t mention that I needed a pitcher.

I am sure that she expected me to put the bag in a pitcher before cutting off the corner - because she would have expected that I had witnessed other people doing exactly that.

My parents raised me to be a very independent child & encouraged me to figure out things on my own.

In this incident, my mother heard my yell of consternation & came into the kitchen to see what the fuss was about - her response at the mess I had just made was simply to laugh at me & hand me a towel.
@namone Indeed & while I do have appreciation for the fact that my mother's response to such situations wasn't to yell & scream, there were definitely times when I felt she would rather laugh than help.

On the other hand, her support allowed me to take risks & choose opportunities that greatly contributed to the success in my career because she made me feel safe to take a chance on a great opportunity across the country or halfway around the world because "If it doesn't work out, you can just come home, move into the basement & we won't make fun of you for more than a few months while you figure out your next steps"...
@closingscenes Came here to say this. I will also pour a bit into a glass, and even take a sip. My partner had a TBI when he was a teen and doesn't have a great sense of taste or smell now. So I'm the taste/smell taster.

I would also disagree with PI on certain things though. You can salvage bread and cheese, by cutting away tonight of it. Unless you have a sensitive stomach.. and the older you get the more cautious you should be, of course. Same with fruits and veggies. And veggies that are turning are perfectly fine to cook, ya just gotta know what you're looking for. All in all, it's good to be cautious, but my broke ass has to make some exceptions at times lol