Can-I-Eat-It Filter: The Unrefrigerated Jelly Episode
April 23, 2011 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Is it safe to eat this unrefrigerated strawberry jelly?

Whole Foods 365 Strawberry Fruit Spread, left out for ~24 hours. The jar says refrigerate after opening. I refrigerated it at the 24-hour point. It's been a week. Is it safe to eat it? Would you eat it?
posted by rabidsegue to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
Jelly... if it doesn't have mold on it, I wouldn't worry about it...
posted by tomswift at 6:08 AM on April 23, 2011

Absolutely I would fear!
posted by Ginesthoi at 6:09 AM on April 23, 2011

Best answer: If it smells and tastes edible, it's fine.

Sugar is a preservative. Refrigeration just helps it last longer.
posted by aniola at 6:11 AM on April 23, 2011

Best answer: Absolutely eat. Jelly and jams predate fridges and people lived eating them in their unrefirdgerated state.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:11 AM on April 23, 2011

Yes! Give it a good look and a whiff. If you are still skeezed out after that then toss it since you are probably more concerned with peace of mind. It's a sugar spread - it will be fine unrefridgerated for such a short period.
posted by grizzly at 6:12 AM on April 23, 2011

The usual two ways for jelly to go south is either to start developing alcohol, which you can smell, taste and see, or to get moldy. That's, like, after a few months or so out in the cupboard. 24 hours is nothing. Go ahead.
posted by Namlit at 6:34 AM on April 23, 2011

Maddeningly unclear. Unrefrigerated does not mean opened and unrefrigerated. If you have not opened it, not a problem, until you reach the badlands of the expiration date. If you mean left out, after opening it, for 24 hours, that's a question for the Can-I-Eat Filter, or rather its coordinate council, the Jar-I-Eat Filter.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:39 AM on April 23, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry if there was confusion: it was opened and then left out for 24 h. It looks fine and smells fine. I was just thinking of the children!

Thank you all for saving me $3.49.
posted by rabidsegue at 6:51 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't refrigerate jelly or jam, not even after opening. Once, a couple of years ago, I tossed a nearly-empty jar of apricot preserves that had developed some mold on it, but that's the only problem. I feed said unrefrigerated jelly to my 4 year old all the time. You're fine.
posted by KathrynT at 9:56 AM on April 23, 2011

Go forth and eat your strawberry jelly. It takes a minimum of a month to go south without refrigeration (which is as Namlit describes). I have tested this theory at my desk at work.
posted by desuetude at 9:54 PM on April 24, 2011

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