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Old 06-12-2010, 16:07   #1
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Refrigerate After Opening

What do you keep aboard that says refrigerate after opening that you do not refrigerate after opening?

I'll start with Mayonnaise. We keep the opened "squeeze from the bottom" mayo in the cupboard all summer without problems. Well, one problem; guests freak out when they find out we don't refer opened mayo.
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Old 06-12-2010, 16:13   #2
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Mayo doesn't need to be fridged although I do. We look for syrup that needs no refridgeration, and any other item. It's more expensive, but we keep smaller items that go in the fridge to save on space........i2f
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Old 06-12-2010, 16:21   #3
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Worst thing is when guests come aboard and find out we don't refrigerate ketchup! Don't tell them we don't with mayo either. Nor jams or jellies nor peanut butter nor eggs. No room in the fridge. Everything says refrigerate after opening, lawyers write the labels.
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Old 06-12-2010, 16:25   #4
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Many items say 'refrigerate after opening' (RAO) that really don't need it.

Ketchup, for instance may say it... unless you drink it from the bottle you are probably safe... mustard, same same.


Mayo, the squeeze bottle is ok... if you use a jar you need to be mindful about not using a knife to spread and then wiping the extra back into the jar... that can cause problems.


I have even used jelly / jam left out without problems... but the same 'cleanknife' rule applies.


Some things say RAO to 'maintain quality'... well, never saw much difference.


On the other side of the coin though, was quite surprised to learn peanut butter does indeed go bad if left open long enough.
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Old 06-12-2010, 16:36   #5
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My dad used to cook a curry at night and leave it in the saucepan untouched with lid on until morning. When I visited him and he did that I did not eat the curry but he used to always eat them like that and never had problems. Perhaps because it was basically sealed in the saucepan so maybe the steam killed the bacteria and overnight could not colonise again.

There is nothing which I use which is supposed to be refrigeratored and I don't, except perhaps peanut butter and in hot weather it goes bad. However, the problem I have is in the tropical summer when everthing is way too hot and humid, stuff which should keep goes off. For example, there are these two minute noodles I like but give the packet 40 degress c for a week and they start to smell like rancid oil.

In cold weather, like about 10 degress c and less, I have opened a tin of fruit at night and left half of it 'till morning and it was fine. I wouldn't do that in summer.
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Old 06-12-2010, 17:01   #6
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Many of the above memtioned do not need refrigeration for much longer than any western world person would think. I had a curry cookbook that claimed that curry was developed to perserve food without refrigeration. It seems that there are 2 potential problems with food that has gone "bad", microbes that can make you sick and more importantly the products of microbial activity (botulism) , but heating food up to 100c. for a mimute or so should solve all, but might not do much for the taste , this is a very relevant topic , I'd like to hear from someone with real credentials. If you ask the US gov. they would have you keep the toothpaste in the fridge
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Old 06-12-2010, 17:41   #7
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We don't refrigerate much. Butter is left in a sealed butter dish and kept in a locker that is directly against the ocean. Lasts for ages in our cold waters in the PNW. Mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, jam etc. are likewise stored when we're not on board. We usually drink evaporated milk in our coffee/tea and it too goes in the locker for overnight if we're working, or outside.

FWIW, I had a prof at UBC when I was taking a microbiology course there that swore that bacteria simply wouldn't grow in high sugar environments (i.e. jam) as due to osmosis (?) the bacterial cells would dry out as the water leached out of the cell membrane to the highly concentrated environment. My experience holds that this works for the bulk of the jam, though I have found signs of a bit of mold growing around the edges.

So far, so good! Obviously, I inspect any food for signs of spoilage before consumption. I usually go with the "sniff test" I have faith that my body is somewhat able to identify if a food has turned. Milk certainly works like that; it will smell off, though often not for quite a bit after it has passed it's expiration date. We do refrigerate milk though
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Old 06-12-2010, 18:17   #8
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i have no fridge. i live on board and cruise. actually i do have a fridge--is engine driven. i dont use it. everything stays on the shelves--some near to the water line in cold water areas, like kali...half and half for coffee lasts 5 days in winter and 3 in summer. in gulf of mexico, half and half lasted 3 days.
small jars from mayo become containers for screws and nuts and assorted hardware, with its cap screwed onto a board and epoxied to the overhead in my forepeak.
ice cream lasts until i get home,,LOL
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Old 10-12-2010, 16:58   #9
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I never refrigerate:

Catsup
Mustard
Jams & jelly
Peanut Butter
Honey
Molasses
Syrup
Soy sauce
Worcestershire
Steak sauce

But two things that need to be refrigerated or they quickly have all the flavor of sawdust:

Wasabi
Horseradish

I do refrigerate mayo, just because I have the space.

I've never had a problem, we've never had food poisoning and we spent 6 years in the Sea of Cortez and down the Pacific coast to El Salvador -- temps often in the 90's and even over 100.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:47   #10
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Depends so much on the ambient temperature and the product itself. Some jams and jellies keep weeks in the tropics without refrigeration; some don't. As a cookbook author and consultant I stopped advising people to keep mayo without refrigeration after a biochemist wrote me to say it was playing with fire. Whether I do it myself is one thing, what I admit to others may be something else. It also depends on how many other people use your galley and how they use it. Picture your teenager making a ham sandwich and licking the knife before re-dipping into the mayo jar.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:49   #11
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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
ice cream lasts until i get home,,LOL
Have you tried to keep it in a vacuum flask?
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:55   #12
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Here is the list so far:

Mayo
Catchup
Mustard
Jams
Peanut Butter
Honey
Molasses
Syrup
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Steak sauce
Butter
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Old 12-12-2010, 17:52   #13
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With the temperatures we get, even the candles do not survive outside the fridge . Ice cream requires a walk-in freezer. So you can walk in and eat your icecream since it melts too quickly if you take it out.

In general, food with high salt or sugar or low water content are less perishable as they don't provide environments for bacteria, eg some jams or salt-preserved fish or dried peas and beans will last a long time. Food such as peanut butter can last a long time however high temps can make the oils go rancid. Whole grain flour that has some wheatgerm in is more likely to go rancid in high heat than highly milled white flour which has less natural oils left in it. With rice, I have found white rice keeps better than brown probably for the same reason.

The difference that temperature can make on food rotting was strongly brought home to me when I travelled around Australia. In the tropical north where I have lived most of my life, a packet of prawn bait once it leaves the freezer and is in the bait bucket will go very phewy in a few hours of summer heat. However, in some frosty winter weather in Victoria (southern Aus) I had prawns still smell fresh after a day out of the fridge. I was amazed. My theory is that the bluer my fingers, the longer the prawns last. Applying that to sailing, I think there is much more scope for food in cold weather than in hot weather like ours where butter is best kept in a squeeze bottle.

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Old 12-12-2010, 18:17   #14
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I think a little candl-agra is in order here.
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Old 12-12-2010, 23:27   #15
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