Will I replace these contents one way or another?
December 15, 2012 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Can I Eat It: Whole Fridge Edition.

Either my fridge is dying or I've forgotten how to shut the door properly. Twice in the last two or three days I've opened the fridge to a whiffy smell and a noticeable lack of cold. In all instances the lack of refrigeration would have been for several hours, then I'd lower the temperature gauge and make sure the door was closed. Food would get cold again. Now that it's happened again, I ask you this question because I really don't want to toss everything. I will if you think it's dangerous to eat:

* Greek yogurt and cottage cheese in never-opened containers.
* Turkey lunch meat in a sealed tupperware container.
* Shredded and sliced cheddar.
* Left-over quinoa.
* Bagged salad.
* Eggs that were expired anyway.
* Condiments like fat-free mayo and ranch dressing.
* Almond milk (I put it in my coffee, I think it's OK).
* Unopened carton of orange juice.

I really don't want to replace everything in my fridge, but I really don't want a gastrointestinal disaster. What should I do?
posted by mibo to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am not a food scientist and/or epidemiologist.

* yes
* no
* no
* yes
* no
* yes (don't actually need refridgeration or a best before date)
* hmm on a per item basis
* no idea, don't see why not
* yeah
posted by Iteki at 12:18 PM on December 15, 2012

To clarify that's "do I think it's dangerous" not "is it dangerous". Those are the things I would eat.
posted by Iteki at 12:18 PM on December 15, 2012

i feel iffy about the turkey lunch meat and the leftover quinoa.

eggs i would crack into a bowl before cooking or baking with them. trust me, you will know if they are rotten.

bagged salad is probably fine unless it's slimy or smells funny.

i'd consume the yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar, condiments, almond milk, and OJ without a second thought, but i've also got a pretty relaxed "is it cool to eat this" filter.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 12:20 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Whiffy" unrefrigerated fridge? Toss turkey, eggs, mayo. Sniff yogurt and cottage cheese or toss if containers are bulging grotesquely.

If OJ passes the unfermented sniff test and doesn't taste like it's carbonated, drink.

Quinoa? I'd toss it because a) leftovers, so less shelf life already, and b) it will still taste like quinoa.

Cheddar is the cheese that cannot die. Eat.
posted by zippy at 12:28 PM on December 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

With the "whiffy" smell -- go through item by item, toss anything that doesn't smell perfect.
posted by DoubleLune at 12:31 PM on December 15, 2012

You can test the eggs by putting them in a bowl of water. If they float they are bad.
posted by capricorn at 12:40 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

If it were me, this is what I'd do:

Throw away all leftovers and otherwise expired food.

Everything else gets the sniff/taste test and a thorough visual examination. You're not going to keel over dead from one sip of rank OJ.
posted by Sara C. at 12:55 PM on December 15, 2012

capricorn's test is good for the eggs. The cheddar is probably fine. If it were me, I'd probably smell/taste-test the yogurt and cottage cheese and go from there. Quinoa and turkey get thrown out. Orange juice is probably fine.
posted by trip and a half at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2012

Eggs are not expensive, but if you're feeling frugal, I can report that I routinely keep eggs unrefrigerated for up to six weeks. They lose water over time, and the membrane just under the shell gets tough. I always break them into a bowl rather than directly into my food. I very occasionally see one where the yolk has started liquify. I rarely see one where the yolk has started to turn black. I have never encountered one that smells like a rotten egg. And I've never gotten sick after eating one.
posted by Bruce H. at 3:30 PM on December 15, 2012

I also don't refrigerate mayonnaise. Foods made with mayo, yes. Mayo in the jar, no. It is acidic enough that I don't worry about it spoiling.
posted by Bruce H. at 3:35 PM on December 15, 2012

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