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Jul 21, 2011 04:19 PM

Fast Food Condiment--Food Poisoning?

I got out a packet of Chick-Fil-A Polynesian Sauce because they forgot to put some in the bag. It was probably in my pantry for a few weeks. It seemed fine when I opened it, but after a few bites I noticed there was some on the bottom of the container, and some on top of and below another container of sauce it was on top of in the pantry. I'm not sure which packet leaked, but if it was the one I ate out of am I at risk for food poisoning?

Here are the ingredients (from chick-fil-a's website):

"High fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, corn-cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, salt, paprika, modified food starch, spices, honey, beet juice concentrate, natural flavors, xanthan gum, onion*, garlic*, propylene glycol alginate. *dehydrated."

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  1. You're fine. Nothing could live in that. Don't worry about it.

    And welcome to Chowhound!

    5 Replies
    1. re: tzurriz

      Thank you! I always read chowhound, but was worried about this so I decided to join and post. How embarrassing that my first question is about fast-food corn syrup sauce. I hope to have better contributions in the future.

      1. re: new_cook_2011

        Don't worry about it. We all start somewhere. :)

        1. re: tzurriz

          Yep, it's a groovy question and one worth asking and having answered, and tzurris is completely right. One thing to know, though you were right to be slightly at least wondering, is that a high vinegar content in any condiment, plus acid, is going to pretty well neutralize spoilage and bacterial contamination potential.

          1. re: mamachef

            You said "high vinegar content in any condiment, plus acid," ...isn't vinegar an acid? I'm not trying to be rude, just wondering if you meant to say something else. Thanks for the reply!

            1. re: new_cook_2011

              No, you caught me out. I meant the vinegar plus the tomato. Good catch. :)

    2. Food poisoning comes from past dated labels and/or damaged packaging. For examples, canned tomatoes should be consumed within 18 months. Same for tomato paste, but in this case, it appears it simply stayed in the pantry with some leakage for a few weeks. Bottled products, canned products are thoroughly sterilized in the process. That's the whole point. Flavor might be a little harmed by the cans' age over time, but unless the integrity of the can has been damaged (beware of swelling or breakage), and the food smells OK to you, don't worry about it. Sounds like the ingredients on your list are quite OK.

      1. As an aside, I keep those extra packets in a zipping bag in the fridge.

        1. My real concern was botulism. I'm pretty sure it's unlikely, but I was scared for a bit. I'm hoping the vinegars made it ok.

          I think it just leaked because I'm in Texas and it's been over 100 degrees here for weeks. I keep ketchup, honey, etc. in the pantry, so I just put those packets in there, too. I'll start putting the packets in the fridge.