I Need Answers and I Know You Have Them

Current Contents of Refrigerator

I have never run into a problem like the one I have now. Yes, I can google it and I can get all sorts of bad cookies following me. I would rather look towards trustworthy people for my answers this time.

I have seldom been on my own and the short time I was I ate at patients homes rather than mine. Now with Al gone I sort of cook the same way I did when someone was here and find myself in a left-over situation.

I was able to ask a friend about some soup I had made but here is the part I think I forgot to tell her about.

I made vegetable soup on Monday. I made it with chicken I had cooked Sunday night in the crock pot. Today is Friday and I have just eaten a bowl of the soup. I still have about two more bowls left. I know I can freeze it but I don’t have much space in my freezer. Some of my questions are;

How long will the soup be alright after I make it?

Can you drink milk if it smells good after the expiration date?

Can you still used a boxed product if it is past the best used by date?

How long can I leave turkey and ham in the freezer? It is left from Christmas Day?

Does cake or cookies stay fresher longer left out covered, or in the refrigerator?

I have shelled nuts left over from Christmas. Will they get rotten?

I know that I am a middle-age woman who should know these answers. But having a family of three children and a big eater like my brother Al, I have never had this problem before. So please feel  pity and help me out please?



28 thoughts on “I Need Answers and I Know You Have Them

  1. If it smells fine, it is okay to eat. Things in a frost free freezer will be ” good” about 6 months. An old fashioned freezer, indefininately They don’t go bad in a frost free freezer, but the texture changes from the freeze/ thaw cycle. (But all is forgiven if it goes into soup, chili, or stew, since texture changes won’t matter.)As for soup already made…bring to a boil for at least 15 seconds. This will pasteurize it ( or anything else). Baked goods will last better In The freezer. They get stale faster in the fridge, believe it or not.


  2. Milk is okay for two days after the expiration date. Cookies and cakes can be frozen as they get dry in the fridge. Boxed foods I would say a few days after the expiration date.. two or three at most. Same with cooked food- ham, turkey etc. Mashed potatos do freeze in case you wanted to know. And you shouldn’t refreeze meat. That’s about all I know. 🙂 good luck


  3. all of the above answers are correct. If you make anything with pasta though it does not freeze well ie chicken and dumplings or homemade noodles. they tend to turn to mush when thawed. As for the left over turkey and ham I try to use mine within 3 months of freezing turkey pot pie ot soup, ham and beans etc. Good luck I know it was hard for me to learn to cook for two I still have a lot of leftovers but hubs appetite has decreased so much it is easier to just eat a sandwich or cereal than to cook.


  4. Can see that you have got all the answers you need here … so I don’t have to do much here. One thing I can add … as the chef I’m – and anything you have defrosted has to be used or cooked in 3 days. When you have cooked you can freeze it again – and when you defrost it again .. is it the 3 day rule again.
    Also never freeze anything that is has less then 2 days left on it’s use by date. Because when you defrost the bacterial multiply by 1000 per hour.


      • Been hard trained .. because in UK if we had a case of food poison – I was the one that had to take the rapping .. and if really bad I could go to jail even.


      • It was a lot of pressure on my chefs to handle food the right way .. because I wasn’t going to take the rapping for their negligence. I was a pain in the ass.
        Also with rice – never save rice or cooked pasta (egg) – dangerous when reheated again.


      • ok thanks my friend. i really appreciate all of your help. so many restaurants here save there rice. i know because i used to work at a chinese restaurant years ago


  5. Well, Terry, I often have left-over turkey in my freezer for several months and have never been sick eating it yet. Same for left-over rice. I do it all the time. Sometimes it lasts for 3 days and I have never gotten sick on it. When I make soup in the slow cooker I make about 6 quarts of it and just keep eating it until it is finished. I never remember to get frozen soup out to eat it so it’s better to just eat it up. I recently read that you should not keep bread in the fridge but in the freezer or just keep it out as long as it is well wrapped. The best-before date is merely a date to determine freshness, not whether it will be bad or not. I have used many things (of course, it depends on the product) well after the date. Here is a site you might want to refer to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2009/03/26/f-bestbefore.html from the Canadian Broadcasting Company. It says you can use mayonnaise several months after the best-before date. With milk? I think as long as it looks, smells and tastes OK it is OK. Of course all this depends on how efficient your fridge is, too. If it is keeping the correct temperature, most things except perishables (fresh fruit, etc.) will keep fairly well.


      • I rarely use mayonnaise, so if I had to stick to the date on the jar I would have to throw out jars and jars of it because it would never get used up. On some things I check out if there is mold, too. That is a sure sign that the jar’s contents need to go. Jam is another thing that will last for a very long time. I suppose the sugar acts as a preservative. Most foods contain preservatives today in some form or another. That’s why I buy mostly fresh produce. But you can’t do that for everything. I used to make my own mayonnaise, but that doesn’t last too long with fresh eggs in it. I guess you just need to make a judgment call on each item. It also depends on whether a product is organic (with no preservatives) or non-organic. Organic stuff needs to be used much quicker.


      • i rarely use mao either. When I do it is for egg salad or tuna or chicken salad. The jar I just opened was from when Al was here. I looked at the date and it has a few months left. I won’t use it all by then and will toss it. I have started buying smaller jars even though I realize it is more costly in pennies. But more costly when I trash it. Life sure has changed in the food area since Al has been gone. I don’t cook too much anymore. Make big pots of soup quite often and eat on that for a week. or egg salad. I have bought a few of those lean cuisines. The other day when I went to the grocery store I bought chicken tenders and a big package of hamburger. I divided the chicken tenders into serving sizes and made patties out of the hamburger. I have plenty to last me for some time in the meat area.


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