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Thread: Another 'should I use' -- this time chicken broth

  1. #1
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    Another 'should I use' -- this time chicken broth

    I obviously am not making progress on cleaning out my cupboards.... argh.

    I found some chicken broth (in the carton, not can) and was going to make the cheddar cheese soup shown on Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix (I can search and post it if anyone's interested). At any rate, the carton has a sell by date of July 2010. Should I chuck it? I don't use broth enough to be confident a 'smell test' would be accurate for me.

    TIA,

    Kate

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  3. #3
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    I'd chuck it, but I tend to err on the side of caution.

    Denise
    "If you're lucky enough to live in the mountains, you're lucky enough."

  4. #4
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    Kate, if it were me I would use it and not tell my daughter In Canada we don't have "sell by" dates. For me they are only useful to the retailer not us.

    On the broth that I buy once in a while it does have an expiry date but it also states that once opened it should be used within 2 weeks. That's the type of information I like. I have started putting the date that I open the container right on the top and if I don't use it up I will freeze the remainder.

    Danita

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwismommy View Post
    Kate, if it were me I would use it and not tell my daughter In Canada we don't have "sell by" dates. For me they are only useful to the retailer not us.

    On the broth that I buy once in a while it does have an expiry date but it also states that once opened it should be used within 2 weeks. That's the type of information I like. I have started putting the date that I open the container right on the top and if I don't use it up I will freeze the remainder.

    Danita
    How interesting. I've always heard that boxed chicken broth is good for up to 1 week. I pitch it after that. I waste a lot of chicken broth that way as often you only need a cup or 2 out of the 4 in carton. I try to buy Trader Joe's low sodium chicken broth of the Kitchen Basics no sodium broth. Does anyone else keep it up to 2 weeks?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    How interesting. I've always heard that boxed chicken broth is good for up to 1 week. I pitch it after that. I waste a lot of chicken broth that way as often you only need a cup or 2 out of the 4 in carton. I try to buy Trader Joe's low sodium chicken broth of the Kitchen Basics no sodium broth. Does anyone else keep it up to 2 weeks?
    One week??????? Wow. I would use the one she mentions above, and i keep mine for months in the carton!!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by PAMMELA View Post
    One week??????? Wow. I would use the one she mentions above, and i keep mine for months in the carton!!!
    Me, too -- and I keep it for a while open in the fridge, too! No one has been sick from it, yet!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

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    I won't use it after more than about a month (although I'm sure I've used some that had been open for six weeks), but I definitely keep my refrigerated chicken broth for more than a week.

    Amy

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    Quote Originally Posted by amyvn View Post
    I won't use it after more than about a month (although I'm sure I've used some that had been open for six weeks), but I definitely keep my refrigerated chicken broth for more than a week.

    Amy
    I thought she was talking about keeping unopened cartons in her cupboard. No opened in the fridge.
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PAMMELA View Post
    I thought she was talking about keeping unopened cartons in her cupboard. No opened in the fridge.

    I meant that I only keep them for a week in the fridge once opened. I was responding to Danita who said after opening she uses them for 2 weeks.

    I keep them in my pantry for months. Generally if I'm within a couple weeks of the expiration date. How far I'm willing to go on a box past its expiration date can depend on what I am making and how many other boxes of chicken broth I have on hand.

  11. #11
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    I would open it & use the smell test. I know you said you're not confident in that, but you'll know whether it smells like chicken you'd eat....or stinky chicken that you wouldn't want to eat! Be sure to shake it well before opening it.

    I go through a lot of chix broth, but definitely wouldn't throw away an open carton after just one week in the fridge unless it smelled off

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    I meant that I only keep them for a week in the fridge once opened. I was responding to Danita who said after opening she uses them for 2 weeks.

    I keep them in my pantry for months. Generally if I'm within a couple weeks of the expiration date. How far I'm willing to go on a box past its expiration date can depend on what I am making and how many other boxes of chicken broth I have on hand.
    I think we should kill the expression "expiration date" the chicken may have expired, but not the broth . It's just a pull date with virtually no meaning.

    I keep opened boxes in the fridge for a couple of weeks but usually I just put the leftover in a ziplock bag and toss it in the freezer. Always glad it's there when I go digging for a smaller portion.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    I think we should kill the expression "expiration date" the chicken may have expired, but not the broth . It's just a pull date with virtually no meaning.

    I keep opened boxes in the fridge for a couple of weeks but usually I just put the leftover in a ziplock bag and toss it in the freezer. Always glad it's there when I go digging for a smaller portion.
    I guess I'm of the mind that everything has an expiration date. Even though in some cases that means, "best buy", but I still won't risk it. But if chicken broth is made with chicken, I don't see how you can say that can't go bad? Isn't there potential for bacteria growth?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    I guess I'm of the mind that everything has an expiration date. Even though in some cases that means, "best buy", but I still won't risk it. But if chicken broth is made with chicken, I don't see how you can say that can't go bad? Isn't there potential for bacteria growth?
    Not really, in aseptic packaging that the boxes are, or cans. Now, of course if you have a can of chicken broth that is YEARS past the expiration date and looks like a basketball, then yes, you should get rid of it.

    I have recently started buying the broth in the boxes, and I was not sure how long it could stay in the fridge once opened. I threw some out a while back that I had lost track of how long it had been in there, and now I have some more that has been in there a while but I have lost track again.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    I guess I'm of the mind that everything has an expiration date. Even though in some cases that means, "best buy", but I still won't risk it. But if chicken broth is made with chicken, I don't see how you can say that can't go bad? Isn't there potential for bacteria growth?
    But everything doesn't have an expiration date - nothing does. I'm not saying it can't go bad, just that there's no such thing as it "expiring" and that the dates on the packaging are virtually meaningless in regard to how long the food maintains its integrity. It's inaccurate to say it "expires", and "best by" is based on...? That's all.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    But everything doesn't have an expiration date - nothing does. I'm not saying it can't go bad, just that there's no such thing as it "expiring" and that the dates on the packaging are virtually meaningless in regard to how long the food maintains its integrity. It's inaccurate to say it "expires", and "best by" is based on...? That's all.

    A food can go bad, but it can't expire?? ('scratches head). I truly don't get what you people are saying. For me its more an issue of the opened boxes than the unopened ones though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    A food can go bad, but it can't expire?? ('scratches head). I truly don't get what you people are saying. For me its more an issue of the opened boxes than the unopened ones though.
    You just can't arbitrarily assign a date to when it goes bad. There's no formula for saying today it's good, tomorrow it will be bad, and certainly no crystal ball. My DH will not drink milk after the date printed on the bottle. But he will try milk that is obviously spoiled (to my nose!) because it hasn't reached the date printed. I've explained to him that those dates are not accurate--they don't represent conditions the milk has been kept under, when it was actually opened, etc. Still, he just is phobic about those dates.
    As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12

  18. #18
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    Exactly. "Expire" is a zero sum game: when your parking meter expires you are susceptible to a $60 ticket. When your tortoise expires you don't have a pet, you have a barrette. When the promotional period expires you no longer get ten for a dollar, you pay full price. Food does not expire. It degrades eventually, over time.
    I liked this recent NYT Times article on the very subject.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    When your tortoise expires you don't have a pet, you have a barrette.
    Oh, to have Canice's way with words!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by leebee View Post
    You just can't arbitrarily assign a date to when it goes bad. There's no formula for saying today it's good, tomorrow it will be bad, and certainly no crystal ball. My DH will not drink milk after the date printed on the bottle. But he will try milk that is obviously spoiled (to my nose!) because it hasn't reached the date printed. I've explained to him that those dates are not accurate--they don't represent conditions the milk has been kept under, when it was actually opened, etc. Still, he just is phobic about those dates.
    I can certainly understand that there is no crystal ball and that things won't necessarily go bad on that exact date. That said, I do believe that there are people in the science community who can probably take an educated guess.

    I view the date on the package as an estimate. Which is why I am willing to go past a week or two or maybe even a month. But I figure beyond that, you're gambling with the dates. Most foods in cans or boxes I wouldn't be able to tell if they are bad or not. And bad doesn't always equal "this will make you sick" to me. Bad equals, "this is not very fresh and may not produce the results you want" in your dish.

    That said...back to my original question....people keep chicken broth for 2 weeks opened in the fridge? I may be willing to try that if there is no bacteria risk. But is there once opened?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    That said...back to my original question....people keep chicken broth for 2 weeks opened in the fridge? I may be willing to try that if there is no bacteria risk. But is there once opened?
    I do it all the time... and usually it's in the fridge a lot longer than that! Hasn't killed me yet!
    But then again, I eat cookie dough, cake batter & brownie batter, too!
    Sue

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post

    That said...back to my original question....people keep chicken broth for 2 weeks opened in the fridge? I may be willing to try that if there is no bacteria risk. But is there once opened?
    I use opened cartons for two weeks or more but by about then I put it in the freezer to have on hand later.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    When your tortoise expires you don't have a pet, you have a barrette.
    Bwahahahaha!


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
    That said...back to my original question....people keep chicken broth for 2 weeks opened in the fridge? I may be willing to try that if there is no bacteria risk. But is there once opened?
    I believe the cartons of broth I buy say right on the package that they are good for two weeks once opened. After that, I freeze what's left in ice cube trays.

    ...Just checked - yes, my carton has the "two week" caveat printed right on the box.

  25. #25
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    Here;s a link to a very cool website:

    http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16778

    According to several sources, the quality of taste may be affected but if the container is unopened, the safety of the food shouldn't be a problem.

    Oh, Canice, pet to barrette! So funny.


    Patt
    With all of our running and all of our cunning, If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane...
    "Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude" Jimmy Buffet

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverFarm View Post
    I keep chicken broth in the refrigerator for longer than that sometimes. When I add it to a recipe it's going to be heated sufficiently to kill anything that might be lurking, anyway. I have bought chicken broth packaged in one-cup boxes, which I thought was an interesting idea, but I also try to avoid excess packaging so I'm ambivalent about it.

    I have been known to use sour cream, as long as it smelled like sour cream and didn't have blue mold on it, way past its use-by date. On the other hand, if ham slices are the least bit slippery I'll give them to the chickens, because lunch meat past its prime seems way too risky. Milk products? Well, we eat moldy cheeses, don't we?
    When those one cup containers first came out I thought they were pretty nifty but soon realized that in addition to the wasted packaging, they were a waste of money. I don't see any advantage to buying them rather than just using what you want from a quart and measuring the rest and freezing in 1-cup portions.

    Curious: if the lunch meat is way too risky to eat, is it not risky for the chickens? Or are they not susceptible to the same pathogens as humans?
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  27. #27
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    I should have posted this weekend; thanks for all of the advice. I opened the box and did not like the smell for whatever reason. I chucked it and purchased a new one that WILL GET USED!!!!

    Canice - tortoise to barrette..... TOO funny!

    Thanks again!

    Kate

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    And thanks for reminding me with your bump here, Kate, that I've got a quart of homemade stock I should get into the freezer today!

    Bob

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226 View Post
    And thanks for reminding me with your bump here, Kate, that I've got a quart of homemade stock I should get into the freezer today!

    Bob
    Bob - don't let the homemade stuff go bad... that truly would stink (ha)!

    Kate

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