4 signs you should throw out these foods in your fridge

PHOTO: Pixabay

When it comes to handling the food in our fridge, we often look at expiration dates to tell us if it's time to throw them out.

Read also: Food expiration labels are misleading: Harvard study

However, with certain foods, it is best to rely on other tell-tale signs that indicate if our food is too gross to be cooked or eaten, to the point where it turns to danger.

Bacteria can easily form especially when there's moisture in the foods. It can seem like a waste at times but it's always best to suppress your thrifty habits for the sake of your health.

1. Slime in your deli

Pay more attention to your deli foods as they have a higher amount of water content. hence they tend to get real slimy after a week. The slime would be an indication of bacteria forming, when the meat's tissue is breaking down.

25 tips to save food

  • Rub egg shells with vegetable oil before refrigerating. The oil will keep the eggs fresh for an additional three to four weeks.
  • Even the lumpy bumps of a ginger root are easy to peel with a spoon, and you'll be left with a beautiful piece of peeled ginger and almost zero waste.
  • After cutting into a cake, use toothpicks to cover the exposed portion with piece of bread. The bread will get hard and stale, but the cake will stay nice and soft.
  • For recipes that just require a bit of lemon juice, puncture the rind with a toothpick and gently squeeze out what you need. Then cover the hole with a piece of tape and store the still-fresh lemon in the fridge for later use.
  • Cut the chunk you want right through the package.
  • Remove delicious cheese.
  • Slide now-empty end back over the remaining cheese. Vanquish dried-out cheese ends forever!
  • You'll get instant creamy salad dressing and the jar will be clean so you can recycle it.
  • This prevents insta-mold (also helps remove pesticide residue). Plain old hot water works too.
  • They'll stay fresh for at least two months without molding.
  • Sulfur from the onion keeps the brown away. A light sprinkle of apple cider vinegar also works.
  • Ethylene gas from apples keeps potatoes from sprouting.
  • Add warm milk to the dregs of a Nutella jar and shake. Try with melty marshmallows for an easy ice cream topping.
  • Avoid sticky fingers and leave no mango behind.
  • Speeds ripening process by forcing sugars to flow to the top. Just be sure to pluck top leaves first.
  • It'll keep for up to a month this way. Works for broccoli too.
  • Stirring will be 100x easier and you’ll avoid that stiff bottom layer that usually gets tossed with the jar.
  • They'll keep for three to five days longer than usual.
  • If the expiration date is looming, don't toss that milk down the drain! Check out recipes to turn it into delicious cottage cheese instead.
  • Fresh herbs spoil quickly. Chop and mix with melted butter or olive oil.
  • Then pour into ice cube trays to preserve perfect portions for future meals.
  • Lettuce will keep longer if you place it in a roomy paper bag before putting it in the fridge.
  • Also, leave the outer leaves in place even if they're limp or dirty: they keep the rest of the head fresh while in storage.
  • Coffee grounds contain nutrients needed by acid-loving plants like roses, hydrangea, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes.
  • Zap them in the microwave. Works in the real oven too.
  • The oils from the crust will restore its original crispiness.
  • Those last bits are perfect for omelets and smoothies.
  • Pour flat soda into ice cube trays or popsicle molds for a sweet, frozen treat.
  • There are over 20 veggies, herbs, and even a few fruits that will re-spawn themselves!

2. Mould in your cheese

With the exception of bleu cheese and brie where mould is actually edible, be mindful of cream cheese, shredded cheese and cottage cheese.

You might find it tempting to pick out the mould and just eat the parts that seem fine however the moisture level in these cheeses can make the spores spread faster than you think.

Ways to make your groceries last as long as possible

  • Tie knots to separate them. Doing this will make them last as long as 8 weeks, claim Buzzfeed.
  • But make sure they are completely dry before doing so. Otherwise, the green onions will get freezer burn.
  • They nifty little things help absorb ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer, according to the report.
  • Cover then with plastic, secure with a rubberband, and then refrigerate. This method of storage works particularly well for herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives.
  • Oily herbs like thyme should be tied loosely together with string and hung in open air, reported Buzzfeed.
  • Herbs can supposedly last up to 3 weeks when stored in this special container.
  • Wash your strawberries in vinegar (white or apple cider) - in proportions of one is to 10 parts of water. Then drain and rinse them and put them in the fridge. The vinegar is diluted so don't worry you won't taste it. Apparently, raspberries can last a week more and strawberries can go up to 2 weeks without turning moldy.
  • Do this if you intend to keep the leftovers in the fridge. This will keep it green and fresh.
  • They will spoil faster. Do not keep onions in moist corners of your kitchen. Keep them in cool and dry places with good air circulation and you will see them last up to 2-3 months.
  • It's true and not an old wives' tale.
  • Apply the butter to the cut sides of the cheese.
  • Wrap in cheese paper or wax paper, and not a plastic cling wrap. Then place it in a plastic bag and store in the warmest part of the fridge, which is most likely the vegetable compartment.
  • This method works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano.
  • Trim the stems, place in water, throw a plastic bag over and refrigerate them. This will help them stay crisp for a week or longer.
  • This will help extend their shelf life for another 3-5 days, according to Buzzfeed. As bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so it is best to keep them isolated.
  • The paper towel helps to keep the greens fresh so your salad can last a week long.
  • This step is essential before refrigeration. You'll be surprised that your celery and broccoli will be kept crisp for 4 weeks or more.
  • They are a healthier alternative to tupperware which tends to deteriorate or stain easily. Keeping produce in these glass jars help to make them last "a few days longer," said Buzzfeed.
  • Once something goes bad in your fridge, the mold is all ready to eat up all your fresh produce. So do a thorough clean-up - everything will last longer.
  • The trapped ethylene makes them ripe faster.

    Unripe: Store them stem side down in a paper bag or cardboard box in a cool area.

    Perfectly ripe: These should be kept away from sunlight, apart from each other, stem side up.

    Overly ripe: Put them in the fridge so that they are cooled before consuming them.

  • Just make sure your produce is absolutely dry before capping them.
  • Other than making it last longer that way, it also grates much more easily.
  • Roasted nuts have more flavour and they keep longer.
  • A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause them to mildew, Buzzfeed says. It is better to store them in a paper bag in a cool, dry place.
  • Clean fish in ice-cold water and salt, pat dry, and wrap tightly in cling film to prevent exposure to air, which causes oxidation. Keep as cold as possible to slow deterioration and retain moisture so it stays juicy.
  • Soak prawns in a bowl of tap water, wrap the bowl in cling film, and chill for up to five days - this retains the prawns' natural crunch. Don't leave them in their original packaging - bacteria that is sealed in with them will quicken rotting.
  • Ask your butcher to vacuum-seal the meat, if possible. Otherwise, pat it dry with a paper towel when you get home and seal it in cling-film or zip-lock bags, pushing out as much air as you can.
  • Moisture and air hasten deterioration, so pat the mince dry with a paper towel, then cling-wrap it or store in a covered container.
  • Transfer them to a paper bag and they'll keep for up to a week. Check for moisture every other day - strawberries rot faster when wet. Store them in a single layer, not in stacks.
  • Wash them in a bowl of cold water to preserve the crispness, then leave them in the water for two minutes to let dirt settle at the bottom of the bowl. Drain, dry on kitchen paper, then bundle into an absorbent towel and put into a plastic bag. Store in the crisper compartment.
  • If not stored properly, ham turns slimy in three to four days from a mixture of condensation and natural oils in the meat. Keep it wrapped in greaseproof paper in an airtight container in the lowest part of the fridge, above the veggie compartment.

3. Foul smells in your meats and fish

The most accurate way to find out your meats and fish have gone bad is through smelling them. Once you get a good whiff, you'll most likely know if it needs to be thrown out.

How long to keep your food for before getting rid of them

4. Meal prepping leftovers

If you're big on prepping your meals in a go for the whole week, there's a chance of it going bad after two to three days.

Some foods are made to last only for a few days and not for such a long period of time. To be on the safer side, keep the prep servings to only last for two to three days instead.

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6 types of foods and how they should be refrigerated

  • To keep meat fresh, drain any excess water, pat dry and cover with cling wrap or store in a container. Wrap leftovers in aluminium foil and place on a plate. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
  • Chill fresh fish and prawns like you do with meat. Keep live shellfish like oysters in their shells, place in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Leftover prawn, crab or lobster meat that you have de-shelled, can be stored in a zipper bag or airtight container for up to four days. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
  • Keep them in perforated plastic bags so any moisture can evaporate and not cause the veggies to rot. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
  • Leave perishable fruits like berries and grapes in their original packaging or wrapped in kitchen towels to soak up the juice when they become overripe. Cover cut fruits with cling wrap, or store in sealed containers. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
  • Keep hard cheeses in cling wrap with holes and on a plate. Or if you want to keep the aroma in, store hard or soft cheeses in airtight containers without wrapping them. Keep blue cheese in aluminium foil to keep its shape. If there are water droplets on cut cheese, leave it unwrapped in the chiller section of the refrigerator to dry before storing. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)
  • Store eggs in their original cartons to keep them fresh for a longer time. They absorb smells very easily so do not place them next to strong-smelling foods.