Sacred Heart - Inspiring Health

Spring 2015

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1 5 S A C R E D H E A R T E A U C L A I R E . O R G Food Safety 101 According to, refrigerated leftovers should be disposed of within three to four days. After that point, you risk foodborne illness and infection or irritation in the gastrointestinal tract caused by food or drink containing harmful bacteria. Also, promptly discard leftovers that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours. When considering what foods are safe to keep, remember "sell by" and "expiration" dates are not the same thing. "Sell by" labels are meant to show how long stores can keep the product on the shelf, and they indicate quality, not safety. Anything that looks even a little moldy or smells abnormal should be thrown out immediately. When it comes to food safety, "spring" cleaning isn't enough—it's wise to clean your fridge once a week. If you are displaying signs of foodborne illness such as fever, chills, or vomiting, contact your doctor or seek emergency care, depending on the severity of your symptoms. WHEN SPRING CLEANING, DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THE SCENE OF THE GRIME—YOUR KITCHEN. WANT TO PROVIDE A spring- board to food safety for you and your family and prevent foodborne illness? Check out these hot spots and toss common culprits that have reached the inedible stage. • Cabinets. Believe it or not, expiration dates can't be ignored, and store- bought canned foods don't last forever. Canned meats and vegetables are good for as many as five years, but canned tomatoes and fruits should be stored for no longer than 18 months. Also, check your spice cabinet. Seasoning blends are generally good for only a year or two, though herbs and ground spices can last three years, and whole spices may be good for up to four years. • Refrigerator. Yogurt is typically safe for as many as two weeks past the listed expiration date. Butter, however, can be stored and used for up to three months beyond the expiration date. Condiments expire, too, so check that refrigerator door! The shelf life for opened ketchup is generally around six months, while opened mayonnaise is usually good for only two. Most bottled salad dressings can be stored for around one to three months. As for lunch meat, fresh deli slices shouldn't be kept for more than three to five days. • Freezer. Think frozen dinners last forever? More like three to four months. Steaks and roasts can be frozen for about 12 months, making the freezer a safer option for cuts of meat you don't plan to consume over a weekend. For poultry, which generally lasts two days in the refrigerator, whole chickens or turkeys can be frozen for up to a year, but individual pieces should be stored for around nine months. S A C R E D H E A R T E A U C L A I R E . O R G 1 5 THROW IT OUT WHEN IN DOUBT,

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