Refrigerate after opening

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Refrigerate after opening

Postby johnw » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 9:51 am

I'm preparing for a 3 day/2 night trip and looking for some off-the-shelf simple/quick solutions for lunch meals. Not for cooking - I have plenty of dehydrated options for evening meals. Everything I find seems to be labelled "must be refrigerated after opening" or similar, sometimes with a specific temperature range (that I absolutely won't be able to achieve), e.g. I found a small packet of sun dried tomatoes that look ideal, plus various spreads and so on. What is the collective wisdom of ignoring the refrigeration requirement on certain foods? I am certain I have taken sun dried tomatoes previously without any issue and used either margarine or butter as a spread. e.g. I had one idea of small french toast squares, or maybe crispbreads, margarine or butter, with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. Any thoughts?
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby Orion » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 10:54 am

I've never seen sun dried tomatoes with a refrigeration requirement. Are they moister than typical?

As for when to ignore packaged food safety recommendations, ultimately you have to decide on your own.
But if it were me, I wouldn't worry about butter/margarine for a 2 night trip.
Mayonnaise, unfermented milk products, and raw, uncured meat are cause for concern in my book.

Oh wait a minute, butter is an unfermented milk product. So much for consistency in my thinking.

Just my instincts, not really very scientific.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 1:02 pm

Yes, kills me each time at the supermarket in front of those cured meat section. Maybe the solution is to try at home. Eat half a salami and leave it for a few days, then feed it to the dog and cat...
Just move it!
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby Mark F » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 1:30 pm

Don't worry too much about the refrigeration claims especially for days 1 and 2. Try to keep the items cool and free of contamination. At this time of year you are not likely to be experiencing temperatures over 20-25 deg and usually a bit lower so even things like soft cheeses will be fine by day 3. A couple of tips:

Don't leave them open in the sun while having a long lunch. Open, use, reseal, put in shade or bury in pack.
If the nights are cold put them where they can best cool down overnight.
Consider wrapping items in a couple of layers of newspaper for insulation.
If items are in a waterproof container put them in the creek to keep cool when in camp.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby johnw » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 2:14 pm

Thanks all, those thoughts all makes sense. Mark, thanks - great commonsense thinking. One or two of those ideas had briefly crossed my mind like using the creek/river as a fridge.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby RonK » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 6:02 pm

I've taken salami on extended walks numerous times. Never suffered any ill effects.
But better to take products which don't require refrigeration. Small avocardos, Safcol salmon in foil pouches, laughing cow cheese wedges, flat bread, beef jerky, dried figs. Even hard boiled eggs are good for a few days.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby ribuck » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 6:40 pm

The driest type of sundries tomatoes are not "refrigerate after opening". Salted butter keeps well in moderate temperatures but unsalted butter will go rancid very quickly.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 7:19 pm

Ive taken coles packaged vintage cheese/crackers frequently on walks of up to 3 days duration. Ive not taken in hot weather though.

The packet does say keep at 3 degrees Celsius or some such.. always tasted good and never felt /been sick
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby johnw » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 10:59 pm

RonK wrote:I've taken salami on extended walks numerous times. Never suffered any ill effects.
But better to take products which don't require refrigeration. Small avocardos, Safcol salmon in foil pouches, laughing cow cheese wedges, flat bread, beef jerky, dried figs. Even hard boiled eggs are good for a few days.

Thanks Ron, I've packed some beef jerky. I have taken salmon pouches and laughing cow cheese before but having trouble finding those atm for some reason.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby johnw » Wed 13 Sep, 2017 11:02 pm

ribuck wrote:The driest type of sundries tomatoes are not "refrigerate after opening". Salted butter keeps well in moderate temperatures but unsalted butter will go rancid very quickly.

I'm pretty sure the sundried tomatoes I used previously didn't need refrigeration. Trying to find them again :roll:. I'll probably take margarine rather than butter, think I've done that at least once before.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 03 Oct, 2017 6:02 pm

On a somewhat related note.

Does anyone know how long you can store backcountry cuisine meals once the original foil container has has been opened ?

Specifically for backcountry mince meat ; mashed potato ; vegetables (Three separate backcountry items).

For a trip I might use half of each packets contents, the remainder would be kept in the original foil packet and rezip locked.

In a month or two I might use the the 2nd half...

Any ideas if that's doable ? or does the freeze dri process mean that once the packet is opened it starts to go off ?
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby Mark F » Tue 03 Oct, 2017 6:11 pm

Moisture is the main issue with dried food going off as bacteria need moisture to grow. Once open there may be a little oxidation of the food which may affect the taste after quite a while but this doesn't mean it is off, just stale. I regularly eat my dehydrated spag bol and other meals months after dehydrating with no ill effects. To be sure put the open packets in a ziplock and in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Only the mince would potentially be the cause any problem.

Mountain House and no doubt others produce large cans of freeze dried food for preppers and the like which a designed to be opened and then eaten over a period of time.
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Re: Refrigerate after opening

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 03 Oct, 2017 6:30 pm

often times the refrigeration label is for product consistency, to keep the oil or whatever from separating out, as well as bacterial growth. Mayo is likely good for a few days due to all the vinegar.
For dried food, zip-lock and freezer. As long as your freezer has decent humidity control, it should all be fine.

I had bad luck with some sealed tomatoes once, not sure why, but they tasted like toxic waste once I cooked them. No idea why, glad I had a backup meal.

if water is not a concern to find, evaporative cooling will give you a bit of help.
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