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the lifespan of a leftover

I'd love a rule of thumb for the length of time it's safe to save the remains of opened cans of foodstuff. Right now I have a 1/2 can of condensed milk and 1/2 can of chipotle en adobo in the fridge just daring me to use them before salmonella sets in! I'm not a whimp about leftovers and don't adhere to the 2 day rule that some espouse but I'd hate to poison a loved one with tainted chili or caramel. What's your limit??

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  1. That condensed milk is a magnet for the nasties, but the sugar will keep it for a few days or more in a good ref. That chipotle in adobo is good for the next year or two.

    1. Anything that lives in chipolte in adobo deserves life.

      1. Oh yeah, on that chipotle. Those things last forever. I have one in the fridge now that's been there for two months and I keep just taking a little smidge out whenever I need some.

        1. You do take it out of the can right? I was told never to leave leftovers in the can.

          1 Reply
          1. re: brooklynmasala

            Me too! And I think the reason is that once you open the can oxidization (sp?) sets in and the can begins to decompose/rust. I don't know if that's still true, but I've stayed wary since it is not worth the risk.

          2. if it has mold, I scrape it off or spoon it off....and if it starts to smell funky I pitch it in the trash.

            I am really adventurous when it comes to eating leftovers...a little too adventurous I might add.

            I will also leave out leftovers at room temp overnight and eat them the next day or the day after that like, pizza, lasagna, soup, korean food, etc.

            yes, I know its not good and I will probably get really sick very soon

            1. bitsubeats, we do that too. Hasn't killed us yet. My old roommate always said it was fine, and he is a biologist. That was my test - What Would Roommate Do? If he would eat it, we keep it. If not, toss it.

              We keep Thai curry paste in the can in a tiny container in the meat drawer for months. I figure, like bkhuna, anything that can survive in curry paste deserves to live.

              1. Fact is, if you really cook even the moldy stuff it won't make you sick. But it will taste nasty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mojoeater

                  There was a post awhile back, I believe from Karl S, or someone with actual knowledge anyway, noting that it is not just the living things that make you sick, which you may be able to kill by cooking; apparently some of the nasty things put out toxins, which are then unaffected by the subsequent heating. I have been more cautious ever since.

                  I had a very unpleasant night after eating some turkey soup about ten days after Thanksgiving. I knew as soon as I ate it that it was probably too old (it tasted fine), and yep, about twelve hours later, yuck.

                  On the other hand, my husband ate some two week old (at least) leftovers involving chicken just the other day-- I was horrified, I had been meaning to throw it out, I thought everyone knew how old it was-- and he had no consequences.

                  I boiled the soup, he slightly microwaved the chicken.

                2. Yes, nothing that comes in a can gets stored in the can. Funny, the Boston Globe just did a story on what was inside the fridges of 8 different people and one family stored all kinds of stuff in opened cans. I could taste the tin just reading the story! Glad the chipotle will live on and on. It takes me longer to use that than some other things.

                  1. since it's a consensus that canned food should not be stored in the original can, I suggest you use the condensed milk in your morning coffee. You don't need sugar or cream if you have condensed milk and a little goes a long way.