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when is fresh produce no longer fresh?

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Old 03-19-2005, 06:21 PM   #1
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Question when is fresh produce no longer fresh?

Okay, so I love fresh produce, and I love to cook with it, and I think it's good to use as much fresh stuff as possible to cook healthy meals. My problem is this: I can't always tell if stuff has gone bad or not.

For example, I had this packet of mushrooms I bought a week ago, and I cooked them today. I wasn't sure if they were bad or not -- they were starting to get brown spots on them (I buy the pre-sliced kind). I ate them anyway, but now I'm worried that I'm cooking spoiled food! I know a lot of vegetables get mushy when they're no good, but how can you tell with mushrooms, carrots, and things like that? (I have a problem with potatoes sitting around too long too...)

Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:12 PM   #2
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I don't think that you have to worry too much about getting some kind of food poisoning from fresh veggies that have gone bad. I think that as long as they haven't deteriorated to the point that you're no long willing to eat them, then they are fine.

Obviously, though, you have to use a little common sense in this. If there is mold growing on something, toss it! Same goes for things that have gone slimey. But if there are a couple of soft spots, and you can work around those, then I would say go for it.

I'm not a doctor or anything, but I really think that veggies aren't going to hurt you unless you have really extreme tolerances for non fresh food.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:18 PM   #3
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Did some Googling and found some stuff for ya:

"How to Buy Fresh Vegetables" prepared by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Shows you what to look for in a variety of produce.

I found the following table on a tripod site and I wanted to spare you all the popups...

Quote:
Some vegetables will keep for months, while others are good for only a couple of days. The storage times listed below are for vegetables that are kept in the refrigerator.

Asparagus; 1 or 2 days

Lima Beans " "

String Beans 3-5 days

Beets 1-2 weeks, remove the greens

Broccoli 1 or 2 days

Brussel Sprouts " "

Cabbage 1-2 weeks

Carrots " "

Celery 3-5 days

Cauliflower " "

Corn 1-2 days (do not husk)

Cucumbers 3-5 days

Eggplant 1-2 days

Greens " "

Mushrooms " "

Okra 3-5 days

Onions Several months- room temp with air circulation

Scallions 1-2 days

Peas " "

Peppers 3-5 days

Potatoes Several months- dark, dry place with air circulation

Summer Squash 3-5 days

Winter Squash Several months-Cool, Dry Place

Sweet Potatoes Several Months-room temp.

Tomatoes Several Weeks (refrigerated, uncovered)
Here's a good page called "Selecting & Storing Fruits & Vegetables" by the Clemson University Extension.

That should get you started!
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:14 AM   #4
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*has read the list*

Wow, I must be a pig then... sometimes I buy fresh mushrooms and we eat them like 4-5 days after only, not 1-2! (But well, they still look and taste edible, so I suppose they sort of are?)
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Old 03-20-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info! I guess there are quite a few vegetables I've been using too late! It's good to know that about food poisoning too, I guess you usually get food poisoning from bad meat.
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