If your fridge holds memories of grocery store trips from months or years past, it’s probably time to do some spring cleaning. Some things are obvious throw-aways, like that container of a substance you can no longer identify. Other foods may seem ok to hold onto, but could actually make you sick.
To help you decide what can stay and what should go, here are 5 things to throw out in your refrigerator today:
Open tins of canned goods – Transfer these items to a storage container you can close before refrigerating them. Otherwise, these foods may absorb some of the metal from the can and take on a metallic taste. This is particularly a problem for very acidic foods, like fruit juice or tomatoes. Eating foods with a high tin concentration can cause fever, nausea, and diarrhea.
Leftovers more than four days old – Cooked foods that have been sitting in your fridge longer than four days put you at an increased risk of food poisoning, according to FoodSafety.gov.
Foods with any sign of mold on them – If you’re someone who chooses to just cut off the moldy part and save the rest of whatever it is, you’re exposing yourself to possible poisoning. Mold growth goes beyond what you can see on the surface, so it’s safest to just throw out the entire item, and check nearby foods for contamination as well.
Condiments older than two months old – Many people have opened containers of ketchup, salad dressing, mayonnaise, and other condiments that they keep around for a year or more. These items are usually more resistant to bacterial contamination, but their quality decreases the longer they’re kept around. Make it a habit to throw these items out after two months.
Anything that looks or smells strange – If something doesn’t look or smell right, don’t take a chance by tasting it. It could potentially be poisonous. Throwing it out is the safest bet.
Sources: kitchendaily.com, foodsafety.gov, and webmd.com