From leftover mince to mum's lamb roast.
If you’ve ever text your mum to check if that weird-looking lamb mince at the back of the fridge was still fair game or, heaven forbid, if you regularly resort to the sniff test, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll say it once and once only: it’s not worth risking the runs – or worse - for the sake of last week’s spag bol. That said, there are legitimate ways to determine whether your leftovers are *actually* safe to eat.
“With raw chicken, beef, or fish in the fridge, you have between three and four days,” food safety expert Jeff Nelken recently told Well & Good. As a general rule, meat and fish always come with an expiration date printed on the label (which, btw, is very important to adhere to.) It’s also best to store fresh produce in the middle of the fridge where it’s coldest. Note: the temperature should be below 5C at all times to minimise the growth of infectious or toxic micro-organisms.
“If it has a slimy texture, has changes in colour, or a new odour coming from it, then it’s not good anymore,” Nelken explained. “These are all signs that bacteria is starting to form.”
So far, so straight forward... But what about pre-cooked meat?
“It’s best to go by how the meat or fish looks, smells and feels to tell if it’s still good or not,” Nelken continued. For pre-cooked beef, chicken, lamb or fish you can usually allow a few extra days.
“It’s best to go by how the meat or fish looks, smells, and feels to tell if it’s still good or not,” Nelken continued. For pre-cooked beef, chicken, lamb or fish you can usually allow a few extra days.
And if you’re storing stuff in the freezer, you have a little longer. Food Safety Standards Australia recommends binning raw roasts, steaks and chops after a year, and raw ground meat after four months. Same goes for fish. Cooked meat, on the other hand, should stay good for up to three months before you need to toss it.
Lucy BodeLucy is WH’s Digital Editor, Features Writer, social media guru and resident woo. A long black lover and foodie at heart, she considers peanut butter an hourly staple and believes chardonnay is the superior drop. When she's not at the beach, barre or yoga studio you'll find her coming up with new and improved ways to kill her unkillable houseplants