When any edible becomes bad and unsuitable to eat, then it is called that food is spoiled.
There are many causes of food spoiling. Some external factors, such as side effects of utensils or product packaging result in food spoilage. Total one-third of the production of a year gets spoiled. Bacteria and fungi can also cause food spoiling.
Eating the affected food results in harmful consequences. So consider taking some preventive measures to keep your food safe from getting spoiled. Here we will discuss all such details. Keep reading!
What Does Spoiled Food Mean?
It means that the food has gone bad and it is not safe to eat. It is better to dispose of it as it may cause illness or indigestion like issues. If your food has small dots like structure on it then don’t eat it.
But it doesn’t mean that a few dot-like structures make the food dangerous to eat. Assume that on a loaf of bread there are small spots so you can cut that part off it and use the rest of the loaf.
Here are the signs that will help you to figure out if your food gets spoiled or not.
How Can One Find out Food Is Spoiled?
Nobody likes the smell and the taste of spoiled food. So it’s better to throw it away. Also, it causes indigestion. It is not only a wastage of food but it is a wastage of money as well.
So it’s better to have it before it is spoiled. If you keep a check and notice the initial symptoms you can save your product from getting completely inedible.
So if you know it earlier then you will definitely be able to protect your food.
Food Spoilage Signs
You will observe tiny spots on your food items. It could be any vegetable or fruit. They are soft and dark in appearance.
The odor of food changes when it gets spoiled. So it is one of the signs that your food is spoiled now.
The color of spoiled food changes. For instance:- avocados’ color changes automatically when they come in contact with the air. Although changing color doesn’t affect the quality.
The color of meat changes when it comes in contact with the air, even if it is in the refrigerator. But change in color is not always a sign of spoiled food. So don’t be quick to judge, taste, or smell it.
But in the case of vegetables if their color changes or they become discolored then it’s time to throw it. If the color starts changing recently then you can save the rest of the stuff with the help of cold water. This cold water remedy works only in the case of vegetables.
Another important factor that you should consider is to check whether your food is spoiled or not. You should check the best before the date of packed edibles. Before eating, you must check the best before date so you can avoid food poisoning issues.
Also, keep checking the date so that you can protect it from getting spoiled. Although these dates are not always accurate, which means they won’t tell if it is safe or not. But instead, they will tell you that food is of its best quality till that date.
So if you notice that the food is expired today, it doesn’t mean you have to dispose of it now. That date only shows the highest quality of food. But the actual condition is determined after smelling its odor.
So you need to keep these points in mind, while checking your food’s quality. Keep inspecting it even when it is in the refrigerator.
Roasted meat or any leftovers feel slime or soggy then it is another sign that your food is spoiled. Slime-like texture is a symbol of spoiling even in fruits and vegetables. So at the time dispose of it without thinking twice.
Also, make sure to throw non vegetarian items away after 10 days. Even if they are in the refrigerator.
If the frozen food packet gets damaged, this could also be a sign of spoiled food. Although the excessive ice doesn’t create any difference.
Just make sure to double check it. Ripped packets become a path for different types of bacteria. So if you have a ripped food packet stored in your refrigerator, do not think before throwing it.
It’s a way to check if your eggs are good to eat or spoiled. Take a bowl that is deep and pour some water in it. Now take your eggs and put them into the bowl. If they drone then you can eat them, they are safe. But instead, if your eggs start floating on the water then you need to discard them.
When someone eats spoiled canned food then he/she may face the most harmful effects of it. So you must be extra careful about canned food. Examine your can wisely if you notice any sort of rust, broken seal, bulging can, or foul smell just throw it away.
Sign For Spoiled Fish
If your sea food becomes bad, you will notice that your fish develops some sort of slippery coating or slimy texture. If the smell becomes bad then don’t eat it. So if you want to avoid food poisoning then consume your fish or any seafood item within 36 hours.
If you want to eat it even after that then freeze it properly. The conclusion is that you need to depend upon your senses, in order to check whether food is spoiled or not.
How to Determine if It Is the Correct Time to Throw Away Food?
People assume that if a food item is kept in the refrigerator for a long time then it must be spoiled. So they just throw it away. But this reason is not enough to dispose of it.
Check the below given chart to find out the general time after which the food starts to get spoiled. Also in the later section there are some tricks to keep the food fresh for a long time.
- Yogurt:- 2 weeks( keep it in the fridge)
- Cream, Milk:- 1 week
- Butter:- 1 to 2 months
- Hard cheese:- 3 to 4 weeks
- Bread:- 5 to 7 days
- Cakes:- 2 to 4 days
- Ice cream:- up to 2 months
- Cereal:- 2 to 3 months
- Eggs:- Up to 5 weeks
Make sure to keep all the food items properly. Different food items need different temperatures to stay fresh. Keep them according to the required temperature. Cover them properly and avoid contact with air.
It is better to keep them away otherwise they will spoil. Avoid consuming spoiled food. Else you will end up having food poisoning or other such diseases.
What Are the Causes of Food Spoiling?
There are many causes because of which food gets spoiled mainly spoilage microorganisms. Different temperature conditions and packaging affect the condition of food.
Bacteria is one of the reasons for the spoilage of food. When spoilage bacteria enter the food items it breaks them down. Although it is not necessary that bacteria is harmful when it leaves the waste products on the food items.
It results in causing bad smells and tastes which end up harming one’s health. There are two types of bacteria that target different food items the first one affects poultry and meat, and the other one affects milk and dairy products.
This is another cause that spoils food. Fungi only cause the change in appearance. But fungi prove to be harmful to the health of individuals. It causes discoloration, acidifying, disintegrating, and fermenting and also results in creating food slime.
The color of food changes to black, red, brown, green, and even white. Yeast & mold are types of fungus. It affects different food items like bread, milk, and so on.
The method of drying out or dehydrating food is one of the time-honored ways for food preservation and prevent the formation of mold and fungus.
Consequences of Having Spoiled Food?
Food does not directly cause food poisoning. But microorganisms are responsible for causing illness. It makes the food flavorless or odorless.
Eating spoiled food is not considered to be safe. As the presence of bacteria or fungi results in harming your health adversely so try to avoid it.
How to Prevent Food from Spoiling?
You can use different methods to keep a check on the food items and prevent it from spoiling. The first method is FIFO called first in first out. So in this, the items you purchased in the first place need to be consumed first.
Secondly, you can use preservatives to increase the shelf life of different food items. This is one of the oldest techniques that everyone follows to preserve their food and prevent the growth of fungus or mold.
In this, you need to keep the storage box and the place dry. This will help to avoid the growth of bacteria or fungi. Other than this, you can go for salting, canning, freezing, eradication, curing, refrigeration, and other such things.
Let’s discuss these in detail. So you need to add salt to some specific food items. This will increase the shelf life and keep it fresh for a longer time. Secondly, you can freeze them. Some food items stay fresh when they are in the freezer.
As the required temperature should be maintained. Some edibles stay safe when you keep them in the refrigerator. So follow such techniques and keep the food fresh.
FAQs Related To Signs Of Food Spoilage
Which Type of Bacteria Result in Spoiling Food?
The major spoiling food bacterias are Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, Enterobacter, Flavobacterium, and Streptococcus.
How to Protect Food from Getting Spoiled?
Keep it in a proper dry airtight container. Freeze it or keep it in the refrigerator. Try to use FIFO that is first in first out. Consume the first bought items. This will help you to keep track of food items.
When Food Items Seem to Be Spoiled What One Should Do?
You should dispose of food items that are spoiled. Because it may result in proving harmful to your health. Problems such as food poisoning or contamination of other edibles are the most common problems.
How to Control Food Spoiling?
The common way is to add preservatives that keep the food item fresh for a longer time. Although there are some other techniques that are mentioned above. You can check them in the previous section. Properly storing food is one of the important factors.
Is It True that Salt Act as A Preservative?
Yes, salt helps in reducing the water level in food items. So it works as a preservative.
What Are the Common Causes of Food Spoiling?
Bacteria, fungus, temperature conditions, atmosphere, quality, packaging, storage box, and ingredients are some common things that affect the food condition.
Is Food Poisoning or Food Spoiling a Different Thing?
Food spoiling is a process of change in taste and the degradation of the quality of food stuff. Whereas food poisoning is a reaction to eating spoiled food.
Eating spoiled food is harmful so it is better to avoid eating it. The most common signs of food spoilage are foul smell, bad taste, and change in color. First of all, check if the color of food items changes, then smell it.
If it is bad then throw it away. If it is not that bad then taste it. If the taste is quite different then again you need to dispose of it. To keep your food safe, store it at a proper temperature in your fridge or freeze it.
Do not store the food items for a long time. Also, do not eat non-vegetarian items after 10 days.