How long can you store carbonated drinks?

On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:52:34 -0700, Larry Jaques


Yes, yes they are pasteurized and safe - but that's not the problem. Mayonnaise (and many other prepared foods) can be stored without refrigeration or special handling UNOPENED for years, because it's a sterile environment inside the package. But when you open the jar any germs or bacteria from outside the package can get inside, and mayonnaise is almost a perfect breeding ground for bad bugs.
Same thing when you use it as a component in prepared foods, as in potato salad or other salads and garnishes with a mayonnaise based sauce. A few bad germs get in, and if the temperature is right for them (in the "Danger Zone" between 40F and 140F) they go to town and "are fruitful and multiply". Take a bite, and you'll be dealing with 'The Grippe' for sure.
Therefore the warning "Refrigerate After Opening". And the reason that Public Health Inspectors are very insistent about everyone following safe food handling practices and safe storage temperatures. They have the power to force factories and restaurants to dump thousands of pounds of product in the trash simply on the chance it's contaminated.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

That being said, they don't have in the eggs something that will poison you. However, once it is hot or warm - and little joey opens the jar with his playing with frogs hands or Sally with her hugging and kissing the dogs hands one had enough of the local barn yard inside to brew a batch. In fact, just spread some on bread - nice rich protein ready to grow something - .....
Martin
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Are you familiar with what the canning process does, and why "before opening" is different than "after opening" in this context?
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I don't believe mayo is actually "canned", as in hermetically sealed while sterile. All the mayo jars I recall had waxed paperboard inner lids under the screw cap - hardly as effective as a metal <hey - metal content!> lid with a rubber gasket. And I've never noticed any vacuum "whoosh" upon opening mayo. (Not that vacuum is essential to a hermetic seal, they could have cooled the Pasteurized mayo in a sterile environment before sealing the jar, but one would expect to find some pressure differential at least occasionally if the jars were truly sealed.)
Loren
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Edward Greeley wrote:

Damn, you're correct about the label Ed, I'll have to fall on my sword.
The jar of Hellman's REAL mayo in our fridge (Yes, that's where we keep ours, because our mothers did it that way.) Does NOT have the "Refigerate after opening" on it's label, but a brand new jar sitting in the pantry DOES. Go figger...
I still believe it's not necessary to refrigerate Hellman's mayo after opening for safety reasons, but only to keep it's taste longer.
Jeff
P.S. I just scanned the label on a bottle of Heinz 57 Ketchup (Which we also keep in the fridge.) and unless my eyes are really shot, I can't find anything about "Refrigerate after opening" on it either.
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On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 11:13:42 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Pasteurization is a swell thing, But it only kills the microorganisms in the mayo before they put in the jar.
It is still a rich organic soup, ripe for colonization.
So unless you live in an operating room and sterilize the knife, each time you put it in the jar, refrigeration is probably a good idea.
Paul K. Dickman
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On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 11:13:42 -0400, the inscrutable Jeff Wisnia

Trust me, having had bad catsup before, you do NOT want to take a chance with it. Date it going into the fridge if you don't use it very often. I think the one which got me was over 2 years old, and since I'm single and didn't use it often, I didn't keep close enough track of it. Damnear kilt me, it did. Projectilely and from both ends at once. Oy vay!
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Larry Jaques wrote:

We DO keep both the mayo and ketchup in our fridge (But not the Skippy peanut butter or the marshmallow fluff.)
An extra degree of protection can't hurt. I wasn't advising anyone to keep opened mayo unrefrigerated, but the health risks of room temperature mayo storage have been grossly overstated, to the point of creating the myth that opened unrefrigerated mayo becomes poisonous in a few hours.
I'd advise always removing whatever amount of mayo you're going to use from the jar with a clean utensil, to avoid transferring in particles of other food which could "go bad" even under refrigeration.
Though, the second Q&A on this page is pretty definite about it being allright to keep opened mayo unrefrigerated, so I don't think I blew it too badly by incliding mayo in my short list of some foods which "keep" without refrigeration:
http://www.dressings-sauces.org/mayonnaise.html
Jeff
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Whoa, I didn't know that stuff could go bad ever! Did the vinegar evaporate or something?
Tim
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I have my doubts that ketchup caused your problem. I had a siniliar problem shortly after eating some whole cherries I got out of the freezer, and after weeks of searching discovered the problem was not the cherries but instead the rice I ate at a mexican restaurant the day before. (the restaurant went out of business within weeks).
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See my other post. Straight mayo is innocent. Mayo *MIXED WITH OTHER THINGS* is a whole different story. As the pepsi gal said, the acidity is too high to permit bacterial growth.
Datapoint for you: my family has *NEVER* stored mayo cold. *EVER*
We've had three cases of food poisoning in the family during the 40 years I've been walking this earth. 2 were from home-canned stuff that didn't "take" properly - verified by testing at the MSU lab after "incidents". One case was botulism, from venison heart my grandmother had canned. Testing showed that the entire batch was so loaded with the bug that it should have killed us all (It didn't mainly because the taste was "off" enough that nobody ate more than a couple bites before sending the whole batch of stew to the garbage - Mom was the only one who got sick.) The other was, of all things, a batch of mom-canned peas that showed ptomaine when tested, and made me sicker than sick for most of a week. The third was (strongly suspected, but never formally verified) spaghetti sauce from a long-since defunct italian restaurant that put my mother in the hospital for several days.
We all eat mayo like it's going out of style. And after each use, the jar either sits on the kitchen counter or gets tucked back into the pantry along with the dry and canned goods.
I can look through the doorway to my left, and see the two-quart jar of Best Foods (AKA "Hellmann's" east of the Rockies) Mayo is sitting where I left it on the counter the other day while making egg salad. It is, and will remain, just fine indefinitely, and I'll use it until it either goes rancid (At least months, if not more than a year), or the jar is empty, whichever comes first, and I'll have absolutely no hesitation about doing so. Same as I've done for the last 40 years without incident.
The "refrigerate after opening" is specifically aimed at slowing down the air-oxidization that turns mayo, butter, and several types of cooking oil rancid. It has nothing whatsoever to do with preventing food poisoning.
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:OK, Jeff, I LOOKED at a jar of Hellman's "REAL" Mayonaise that is in my :fridge which bears a "Best if used by" date of Oct 11 05. The label :plainly, clearly and specifically states: "REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING". : :The list of ingredients includes WHOLE EGGS and EGG YOLKS. Ain't NO WAY :I would use the stuff if it had been stored at room temp for any length :of time (say, more than a couple of hours max) 'cause I've had food :poisoning before and it's not a lot of fun.
You'd best stay away from restaurants and deli shops then. In those places a jar of mayonnaise will get opened in the morning and sit out at room temperature the whole day. And the health inspectors have no problem with that, BTW.
The list of ingredients also includes vinegar, and the acidity of commercially made mayonnaise is high enough to prevent the growth of bacteria that cause food poisoning. The belief that commercial mayonnaise is a likely source of food poisoning is one of those bits of folk wisdom that just ain't so, like the once almost universal belief that tomatoes were poisonous. Home-made mayonnaise, though -- now that's an entirely different matter.
FWIW, the jar of Kraft mayonnaise in my fridge also has no mention of refrigeration on the label. The only reason I keep it refrigerated is because I use so little of it that a jar lasts a year or more. Let's see, it says here, "Best if used by Feb 2004." Yup, still fine! Must have been a good vintage.
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On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 23:54:09 -0400, the inscrutable Jeff Wisnia

Something screwed the pooch on that link, Jeff. Firefox said "keyword: <" and then choked; IE chokes, too. Without the LT and GT signs, it flies, though.

Interesting. This clears up the question I had about eggs in mayo, too. http://www.dressings-sauces.org/pdf/mayoo.pdf "Quality, not safety, is the only reason the labels on these products suggest that they be refrigerated after opening."
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DeepDiver wrote:

Hum - I remember well when cold drinks were stored in steel cans. I lived on an island 2500 N. miles southwest of Hawaii ! Twelve weeks after leaving port in Oakland, a ship would bring what we need for that month - with flying bumble bees C-24 cargo masters (0.7 mile long runway) would bring in urgent and fresh food. (They were 24 hours flying from Hawaii!)
The steel cans would rust if left for 3 months or more in storage. The soda drinks (all kinds) were Fe enriched! - Iron content.
Some, actually tasted better! But we all waited for drinking out of a glass bottle.
Naturally, state sides, storage was never an issue and the can's internal 'plastic' like cover kept the soda free of iron until it was sold.
Martin
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Keith Marshall wrote:

Safe in a way. The acid does dissolve stuff that drops into it or it onto the material. Might be a case for cleaning out the Arsenic from shrimp or nuts - My sister took a hit, she was eating fresh shrimp (cooked frozen, few thawed for breakfast..) and she also took large dozes of Vitimum C. The C dragged out the Arsenic from the shrimp. Normally it isn't converted and just passes through the body. She slowly did it to herself.
Martin
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Another legend/myth/whatever-you-want-to-call-it that needs to be laid to rest...
Mayo is so acidic that nothing will grow on/in it but mold, and that only rarely/under extreme circumstances (leave it out on the counter uncovered for a few days type of extreme). What's to blame for the food poisonings involving mayo are the other ingredients that are with it... Tuna salad, ferinstance, or tater-salad - Both of them cut the acidity enough to allow every food-poisoning bug known to man to happily set up housekeeping and raise a few bazillion offspring in a scary-short amount of time.
It does "go bad" - In the form of turning rancid. The oil in it will air-oxidize into "yuck", same as butter will, but that's just "tastes horrible" gone bad, not "dangerous/make you sick" gone bad. You can slow this problem by storing the mayo jar as tightly sealed as possible, then keeping it upside down. You can slow it more by refrigerating it, but no matter what you do (short of using it up too quick for the oxidization to happen) an unsealed jar of mayo plus time equals nasty tasting glop that might make you barf due to how bad it tastes, but won't do you any actual harm.
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If the ambient temperature is below freezing, you can store soda cans for only a few hours before they rupture. Last winter, my wife bought several cases of soda in cans and a bunch of 2L plastic bottles, then left them in her minivan overnight. What a mess! The 2L bottles didn't burst, but they swelled to about 50% larger than normal.
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Ron DeBlock wrote:

FWIW when I (Can't blame everything on the kids now..) stick an unopened can of Coke or Pepsi in the kitchen freezer to cool it down fast and then forget it's there, it freezes and the ends bulge, but it doesn't "blow up" until someone finds it, take it out and sets it on a counter.
The first time that happened we heard a noise from the kitchen about twenty minutes later when the can ruptured and soda squirted all over the place.
Someone else did the same thing a while later, with the same results.
After "a sample of two" we wised up, and if we find a forgotten frozen can of soda we know now to stand it in an open cooking pot with a lid over it and wait for it to erupt.
I asked the guys on the sci.physics newsgroup why it happened that way and their concensus had something to do with saturation pressure of CO2 at different temperatures and the fact that when placed in the freezer the contents freeze "from the outside in" but when it's removed they start melting "from the outside in".
More than that I can't remember.
Jeff
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If you want to see some excitement, immerse an *open* can of coke in liquid nitrogen.
Don't be looking down at the top of it when doing so however.
Jim
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

One summer in college a bunch of cases of old soda intended for the dorm soda machine were discovered in a storage closet and moved to the top of a fridge to give away for general consumption.
At some point a day or two later I walked past and felt a tiny jet of liquid on my face. With the sunlight at just the right angle, you could see that many of the cans were squirting from pinholes like in Jeff's picture - really, really tiny leaks with substantial pressure behind them.
My guess is that the corrosion developed over time, but may have been accelerated to the leak phase by the agitation of being moved. (Hmm, I wonder if they went in a cart down the notorious cobblestone hallway - the prefferred method of moving belongings between entries, traditional done at 2am) Also the large number of samples and slow rate of leak may have contributed to catching a few in the act of jetting.
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