How long can an opened jar of octopus safely sit in the fridge?
May 4, 2013 4:40 PM   Subscribe

The jar was opened 7 days ago and has been in the fridge since. The ingredients are octopus, canola oil, vinegar, spices and salt. It says "No preservatives. Keep refridgerated" and the expiry date is in July 2013. Does the vinegar mean it's pickled and good for an extended period? Would I just know by tasting one? I feel a bit paranoid because I had a terrible experience with some leftover mussels last year. I would just toss it but hate to see a dozen little octopi die for nothing.
posted by bonobothegreat to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria, if that's what you're asking. I don't know that its presence means that something has been pickled.
posted by dfriedman at 4:51 PM on May 4, 2013

If you'd be thinking about the mussels the whole time and thus couldn't enjoy it, then give it to a friend or chuck it. Otherwise, it doesn't look or smell off, it's been fridged the whole time, it has salt and vinegar, and it's not expired, so eat it.
posted by domnit at 6:09 PM on May 4, 2013

It has vinegar as an ingredient, doesn't smell bad, the fridge is on, and it expires two months from now?

It's being preserved properly, nothing in your kitchen is broken, and you are 60 days in the clear?


No, but seriously, it sounds totally ok.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:31 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess it could sound like a nutty question but it's just that some jarred tomato sauces (with far distant expiry dates) recommend that you consume the contents within 4 days of opening, so I'm wondering if this product is in that class. I can't think on another meat/fish product that's packed in oil and vinegar (except anchovies - which are very heavily salted), so was hoping someone had firsthand experience.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:47 PM on May 4, 2013

Shellfish poisoning is common but octopi are a different animal, they are not filter feeders.
posted by stbalbach at 9:56 PM on May 4, 2013

Why not sautee them just to be safe?
posted by earley.rose at 10:12 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sautéing them would be a suggested approach.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:20 PM on May 4, 2013

Cooking the octopus wouldn't really help, since it's the toxins bacteria excrete that cause food poisoning, and cooking spoiled food won't get rid of the toxins.

However, in this case it sounds like you'll be fine. The octopus is cooked, it's pickled, and it's in the fridge.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:46 PM on May 4, 2013

Best answer: Chiming in as the voice of dissent in this thread. I will offer the disclaimer that I'm extremely cautious - some might even say "uptight" - when it comes to food expiration dates. That said, I'd toss it. The jar's been opened and its contents exposed to air. It would freak me out too much to eat it, and I really like octopus.

For what it's worth, I also had a bad mussel experience within recent memory. There is no food on this earth delicious enough to make me willing to risk that misery again. Ever. Food poisoning from seafood belongs in its own circle of hell.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:14 AM on May 5, 2013

Best answer: I would guess that the expiry date relates to an unopened jar. Once opened, I'd expect the octopus to last about 3-4 days. A week? I personally wouldn't risk it.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:05 AM on May 5, 2013

Best answer: I have to agree with disposing of it. Professional food service rules say that it has to go on Day 5, no matter what.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:15 AM on May 5, 2013

Response by poster: Great to hear that professional food service rules recommend disposal. I'll go with that.

I got in trouble last time because the mussels had tasted great and I felt guilty letting it go to waste. This feels very much the same sort of motivation and something I vowed never to do again. (link is to a sound very similar to what I was making)
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:11 AM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older PowerPoint 2010, VBA to copy or create command...   |   Collected vitriol, like this collection of hate... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.