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How Long Has That Been In Your Fridge?

You've probably been here before: you're cleaning out the fridge and you get to that open jar of mayonnaise. You wonder how long it's been there, and when you opened it. Then you realize that even if you could remember when you opened it, you wouldn't know if it was still any good. The labels, if they're even there, are often confusing. So what do you do? Well luckily I've got the tip and the answer to help you out. To find out


The folks at ShopSmart were recently on the CBS Early Show and offered some practical advice regarding how long things last once opened.
Here are some of their tips:

  • Mayonnaise lasts 2 months once opened.
  • Eggs last 3-5 weeks.
  • Leftovers should be good for 3-4 days.
  • Jarred pasta sauce is good for 5 days once opened.

These are just general guidelines, you should just use your best judgement. And as I always say, when in doubt, toss it!

So how do you know how long stuff has been in your fridge? It may sounds ridiculously simple, but all you have to do is label the jars when you open them. Simply put today's date on the labels and then next time, you'll know how long it's been in there. I have a set of adhesive labels that I use, but a set of "Hello My Name Is" stickers could be a lot of fun too.

How about you, do you have any labeling tips?

Source: LifeHacker and CBS News

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Join The Conversation
adirgeforher adirgeforher 10 years
same with ALSW...i've had pasta sauce for muuuuch longer...
magpot magpot 10 years
We must be a family of cast iron stomachs. My husband will eat leftovers 6 days after they were dinner. We've also kept jarred spaghetti sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks without anyone getting sick. Except after reading this, I'm not so sure I'll be able to eat it the next time!
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I've had jarred tomato sauce last longer than that...
kyleracine kyleracine 10 years
I've always wondered about eggs... but I think salad dressing stays good for pretty much forever. ok not forever, but a long time. salsa on the otherhand can get moldy.
misslarue misslarue 10 years
Lalalaurie-I have the same question about the salad dressing. Also what about Salsa in a jar after being opened??
Katharine Katharine 10 years
I sharpie the top of the salad dressing bottles too.
FiestyRed36 FiestyRed36 10 years
Hm. Didn't want that little kiss face... X:
FiestyRed36 FiestyRed36 10 years
How about that with the mayo... I KNOW that the mayo in my fridge has been there for more than 2 months and I just used it last night!! :X
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I use a sharpie! But, you also nee dto be aware of when you stick things in your freezer! Also, for leftovers, I use those disposable containers by like Ziploc or Glad, and before you wash them, just take some acetone fingernail polish remover and it removes the permanent marker so you have a clean slate to date with!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
I didn't know eggs lasted that long!! That's awesome. And I wish jarred tomato sauce lasted longer, either that or they made it in smaller jars. Guess you could always freeze it, too.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
anyone have tips on salad dressing in my fridge?? i think it's been longer than 2 months
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i just use a sharpie too - mainly i just label the soy milk containers as i go through the sauces pretty fast.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 10 years
sharpie sounds like the best idea.
mollywog mollywog 10 years
I'm with susanec, I use a Sharpie. I hadn't thought to do condiments, but I think I'll start. I mostly do it with freezer stuff so I can make sure I don't leave any good meat or something in there too long to get freezer burn!
kt1783 kt1783 10 years
I throw out stuff probably sooner than I need to but something about aged leftovers and condiments especially grosses me out...better safe than sorry!
susanec susanec 10 years
I just Sharpie everything with the date it's purchased (month & year); cans, boxes, etc. I'm not much for condiments but I'll sharpie when they're opened.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
excellent tips! now i can make sure i'm not giving anyone food poisoning. :)
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 10 years
Hah, I learned about jarred pasta sauce the hard way!
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