StillTasty.com is a great resource for figuring out whether you should dine or dump the contents of your fridge and pantry. Very useful site for those who want to play it safe with their food. While I tend to go with "the smell test" when it comes to edibility, I found the site very useful and interesting.
StillTasty really nails it when it comes to usability. Just type in a word or two and you receive instant information. For example, let's take a look at hot dogs. Living in a house with kids, hot dogs are part of the Red Food Group that includes balogna, salami, bacon and Twizzlers. There are always hot dogs somewhere in the deep recesses of the fridge.
Type in "hot dog" and you get three options; cooked leftovers, opened package and unopened package. Click one of those and in very easy to read format using arrows they tell you how long you have to eat them from the fridge and freezer. Here's what StillTasty said:
Unopened package: Eat within 1 week after due date coming from fridge. Freezer life is about 1-2 months.
Opened package: Eat within 7 days after opening in fridge. 1-2 months in freezer.
Cooked leftovers: Eat within 3-4 days in fridge and once again 1-2 months in freezer.
That helps. Though hmm...am I really going to remember how many days/months have passed by...? I guess I'll just have to make a mental note of it.
I always wonder about hard boiled eggs. StillTasty says they last 1-2 weeks in the shell and 1 week out of the shell.
The owners of the site pull their information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Do check it out at www.StillTasty.com.
OK, one more. An opened can of peanut butter lasts about 3 months in the pantry. Uh oh, better start sniffing those jars...