Saturday, June 14, 2008
I admit it, I am utterly inept at refrigerator maintenance. In the lonely depths of my refrigerator, lettuce will slowly wither away unnoticed for weeks at a time all the while unused lemons and limes transform into fossils and blue cheese becomes a whole lot moldier that it was ever meant to be.
My roommate and I are familiar enough with the ins and outs of our untrusty fridge that we know which milk containers are safe for consumption and which ones are best avoided. We know that the three week old pork on the bottom shelf is only there to keep the four week old Merguez sandwich company and that, the Merguez sandwich is there to keep some other piece of decaying food company. It's a faulty system I realize, but it suits us fine.
What poses a problem is when a guest attempts the battle ground of our fridge unattended. Just the other day I caught a friend reaching for a month old container of orange juice. It was only as she held the container up to her mouth that I realized the disaster that was about to unfold "Stop!" I shouted, giving my friend such a fright that she spilled juice on the floor. " What's up?" she replied rather startled. "I'm not sure if its a good idea to drink that" I told her. To be honest, I had no idea what the shelf life was for a previously opened carton of orange juice.
While trying to find information on the topic of spoilage, I ran across this very amusing post over at Will Work For Food entitled, How Long Will It Last? - yes it does sound a lot like the title of some demented game show, either that or some sorrowful blues song. In the entry wwff gives us the facts on how long food items will last from apples to eggs, and fried chicken to cold cuts. By far my favorite part is the run down on mold, 'Mold is not your friend. Yes, it may be soft and fuzzy, but it is not, by any means, friendly.' Well now I know.
And the juice? There was no info here about OJ, but further Internet research revealed that an opened container of orange juice will last for 5 -14 days in the fridge. So, as it turns out my Tropicana was over the hill and was probably only hanging around to keep its old companion, Milk company. Perhaps its time they both retired.