WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT

(Family Circle) Because contaminated food does not always look or smell bad, you can not relay on your senses when deciding whether to take a bite of something. Nor should you put all your trust in a product's "use by" and "sell by" date stamps. Those dates focus on quality, not safety, with "sell by" referring to how long the food can be displayed for sale and "use by" signaling the last date by which it will be of peak quality. The following refrigeration time suggestions should keep food from becoming dangerous. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely, although taste may diminish. Still, that age old advice remains the best. "When in doubt, throw it out."

Eggs -- toss after 3 to 5 weeks
Hard boiled eggs -- one week
Bacon -- 1 week raw, 4 to 5 days cooked
Chopped hamburger or ground meat -- 1 to 2 days raw, 3 to 4 days cooked
Hot dogs -- 1 week opened, 2 weeks unopened
Deli meat -- 3 to 5 days opened, 2 weeks unopened
Steak, chops and roasts -- 3 to 5 days raw, 4 to 4 days cooked
Poultry -- 1 to 2 days raw, 3 to 4 days cooked
Chicken nuggets -- 3 to 4 days cooked
Fish and shellfish -- 1 to 2 days raw, 3 to 4 days cooked
Leftover pizza -- 3 to 4 days
Soups and stews -- 3 to 4 days
Milk -- 2 to 3 days after sell by date
Prepared deli salads -- 3 to 5 days

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