Refrigerator horror stories

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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I found an unopened bottle of Worcester sauce in the cabinet this morning. It expired over a year ago...and its the good stuff too.

I once found a jar of mustard that expired over five years earlier. It's like that jar was evil so no one would ever use it. We continued to buy mustard as if the evil jar didn't even exist.

Has anyone ever seen the mold that grows on Humus [the food humus, not the soil version]? Its bright red! :surprised Scary stuff!!!
 

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  • #2
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I get my wife/maid to clean out the fridge regularly.
 
  • #3
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Mine was a tupperware container of pinto beans, when I opened it, it actually exploded. Powdery gray/green spores shot out at me, much like Invasion of the Body Snachers. I had to run to the shower, clothes and all....I didn't want to become a mutant pinto bean :uhh:
 
  • #4
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For three years, a bottle of orange juice has been sitting out in the shed. At first it turned brown with little green islands of mold floating on the top, but the last time I checked (about a year ago, I think) the islands had turned brown.
 
  • #5
Moonbear
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My own fridge isn't too scary. There has occasionally been a plastic container of leftovers that I don't even bother to open before tossing the entire container to the trash because I do know how old it is and it got buried to the back far too long ago to want to know what the contents look like. But, when I lived in dorms, nobody EVER cleaned the refrigerators in the common kitchens. There were 10 of us who lived there as grad students in summers (we worked there the rest of the year, so they let us stay for the summer), so after the students moved out for the summer, we'd clean the fridges and stock up for summer. :surprised That was scary. The first time we realized nobody ever cleaned the fridge, we found milk in the back that had expired 2 or 3 years previous, lots of containers of things long since rendered unrecognizable. We contemplated whether we should dispose of the contents as biohazardous waste! After that, we implemented a policy for the dorm that everything had to have a name and date on it and unless a clear expiration date was on it that hadn't passed yet, we'd trash everything once a month (we announced the date and time so the students could rescue anything they wanted to keep).
 
  • #6
Informal Logic
Funny we were just talking about this today at work--in the opposite. Some people think the "best if used by" date is an expiration date, and I heard many expiration dates have a leeway of five days. Of course anything can happen, so if it doesn't look, smell, or taste bad, that's my main criteria. Things like condiments have so much preservatives, I would think it would have to be around a long time before it goes bad...?
 
  • #7
Evo
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Ivan Seeking said:
I once found a jar of mustard that expired over five years earlier. It's like that jar was evil so no one would ever use it. We continued to buy mustard as if the evil jar didn't even exist.
:redface: I have a couple of jars like that. I avoid them because I "know" they must be too old to eat, but they still look ok, so I feel it's wasteful to throw them away. Of course I will never use them. :uhh:

Has anyone ever seen the mold that grows on Humus [the food humus, not the soil version]? Its bright red! :surprised Scary stuff!!!
I had some leftover garbanzo beans (what humus is made from) and when I found them some time later, they had that scary red stuff on them!!

I have a real problem with throwing food away. I can't throw away good food. I put all leftovers in neat little containers, forget about them and then three months later when I find them, they're spoiled, so it's "ok" to throw them out. :rolleyes:
 
  • #8
chroot
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I once shoved a half-gallon carton of ice cream into a little dorm refrigerator. It wouldn't fit in the tiny freezer compartment upright, so I shoved it in sideways. What I didn't know is that all fridges go through a defrost cycle for a few minutes every day. A few days later, our room began to smell. It permeated the room so thoroughly and evenly that we couldn't identify it. We opened the fridge about a thousand times, but everything looked normal in it. We started leaving the window open, hoping that whatever it was would finish rotting and go away. It didn't. It just grew more and more noxious until eventually just walking into the room would trigger a gag reflex.

We finally figured it out -- a small amount of the ice cream had been melting during the defrost cycle, and then running out the back of the fridge with the waste water from the melting frost. It was self-cleaning this way, so the fridge looked spotless for the duration of this nightmare. The melted ice cream then sat in the drain pan in the back of the fridge, surrounded by hot condenser coils, mixed in with plenty of regular moisture and all sorts of incredibly disgusting bacterial refugees, and turned into easily the foulest smelling cheesy-looking substance the world has ever known.

It took us two hours, three or four sacrificial towels, and a whole can Lysol to clean the fridge to the point where it could be tolerated again. By the time we found it, the cheesy gunk was trying to grow not only in the drain pan, but also in the line itself, and even exploring its way into the back of the freezer itself. It reminded me of the Andromeda Strain.

- Warren
 
  • #9
BobG
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Moonbear said:
My own fridge isn't too scary. There has occasionally been a plastic container of leftovers that I don't even bother to open before tossing the entire container to the trash because I do know how old it is and it got buried to the back far too long ago to want to know what the contents look like. But, when I lived in dorms, nobody EVER cleaned the refrigerators in the common kitchens. There were 10 of us who lived there as grad students in summers (we worked there the rest of the year, so they let us stay for the summer), so after the students moved out for the summer, we'd clean the fridges and stock up for summer. :surprised That was scary. The first time we realized nobody ever cleaned the fridge, we found milk in the back that had expired 2 or 3 years previous, lots of containers of things long since rendered unrecognizable. We contemplated whether we should dispose of the contents as biohazardous waste! After that, we implemented a policy for the dorm that everything had to have a name and date on it and unless a clear expiration date was on it that hadn't passed yet, we'd trash everything once a month (we announced the date and time so the students could rescue anything they wanted to keep).
What spoil sports! Wouldn't it be more fun to have a competition where the contestant is blind folded and tries to identify the refrigerator mystery food by smell?

I clean my refrigerator on a regular basis - whenever I run out of tupperware containers to store new leftovers in.
 
  • #10
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I once left a sandwhich in a lunch box in my back pack (totally forgot about it) for 3 weeks!! Not very nice when it came out....

Another time, it was a bannana. No wonder my back pack was smelling unusual.
 
  • #11
Evo
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chroot said:
I once shoved a half-gallon carton of ice cream into a little dorm refrigerator. It wouldn't fit in the tiny freezer compartment upright, so I shoved it in sideways. What I didn't know is that all fridges go through a defrost cycle for a few minutes every day. A few days later, our room began to smell. It permeated the room so thoroughly and evenly that we couldn't identify it. We opened the fridge about a thousand times, but everything looked normal in it. We started leaving the window open, hoping that whatever it was would finish rotting and go away. It didn't. It just grew more and more noxious until eventually just walking into the room would trigger a gag reflex.
That's got to be one of the funniest refrigerator stories I've heard! :biggrin: Usually it's the same scary mold and slime, pretty obvious.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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I have an even worse story if you count discoveries in the ice while defrosting a lab freezer, but I think you just mean normal food refrigerators, right?
 
  • #13
SOS2008
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Food spoiling in the fridge? Once when living with a roommate, I began to notice a bad odor coming from her bedroom. It was Kentucky Fried Chicken under her bed. And then I dated a guy who's son had similar bad habits of throwing empty cartons, cans, apple cores, banana peels, etc. in the space between his bed and the wall... Ah, the fond memories of my life. Sometime I'll have to tell you about my "Festive Holiday Trip"...
 
  • #14
Danger
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chroot said:
easily the foulest smelling cheesy-looking substance the world has ever known.
It's obvious that you never witnessed my attempt to make tuna casserole. :biggrin:

When I opened my locksmith company, one of my first customers on the reserve tipped me 10 lbs of moose meat and some very nice deer steaks. Somehow the moose got buried under some stuff and I didn't find it for quite a while. I knew that I probably shouldn't eat it but, like Evo, I won't throw it out unless it's moving under its own power. It's still there, and that was 26 years ago.

I never wash dishes; I keep them in the fridge and take them out to use. :approve:
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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mapper said:
I get my wife/maid to clean out the fridge regularly.
I need to get me one of them...

The worst is when you eat some cheese and then notice mold on some other pieces of cheese. Strangely, that happens to me about once a month...
 
  • #16
Chronos
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I would tell my 'blue hands in the morning' story, but it wouldn't be fair to Evo. I am concerned she may still be traumatized by my last exotic snack recipe.
 
  • #17
Evo
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Chronos said:
I would tell my 'blue hands in the morning' story, but it wouldn't be fair to Evo. I am concerned she may still be traumatized by my last exotic snack recipe.
Ugh, you had to remind me! :surprised I may *never* get over the visuals on that one. :frown:

Ok, now you must tell the 'blue hands in the morning' story.
 
  • #18
matthyaouw
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A jar of olives. A few weeks/months since last opened. A grey 'island' about an inch high floating in the middle. I normally recycle jars, but in this case, straight in the bin, unopened.

One time I drank a can of lilt that was about 5 years out of date. It was fine actually.
 
  • #19
brewnog
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Last summer I discovered some Marmite from 1987.

Looked and smelt fine to me, mum wouldn't let me eat it.
 
  • #20
NoTime
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Danger said:
It's obvious that you never witnessed my attempt to make tuna casserole. :biggrin:

When I opened my locksmith company, one of my first customers on the reserve tipped me 10 lbs of moose meat and some very nice deer steaks. Somehow the moose got buried under some stuff and I didn't find it for quite a while. I knew that I probably shouldn't eat it but, like Evo, I won't throw it out unless it's moving under its own power. It's still there, and that was 26 years ago.

I never wash dishes; I keep them in the fridge and take them out to use. :approve:
Gee, and I thought the 5 pound can of tuna that an ex girlfriend left on my shelf 15 years ago was old. :surprised
It might be still good, but I don't have the nerve to find out. :uhh:
 
  • #21
Moonbear
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russ_watters said:
I need to get me one of them...
You'll probably have better luck getting that to work by hiring a maid than finding a wife.

The worst is when you eat some cheese and then notice mold on some other pieces of cheese. Strangely, that happens to me about once a month...
I don't mind it as much on the cheese (why does cheese turn moldy so quickly once it's opened? Maybe it's time to spend a day bleaching out my fridge dairy drawer; I must have a lot of mold spores hanging out in there), but it seems to happen to me more often on the bread. :grumpy: I make myself some toast, then decide I'd like another slice, and the next one comes out of the bag green and furry. :yuck: Hmm...bread mold, that's the one that makes penicillin, right?

Okay, here's a weird food story, but the opposite of things growing in the fridge. Recently, I bought apples and used half of one in something I was cooking and didn't really feel like eating the other half. You know how apples usually brown once cut, so they aren't really something to bother saving, right? So, I had just left it on the kitchen counter while I finished making the food and eating, and was just going to clean up everything when done. Well, I went to toss it and noticed it hadn't turned brown on the cut surface. That seemed really odd, so I thought I'd see if it was just slower to brown for some reason. I left it sitting out for three days, and it got a slightly speckled appearance, but definitely not the big change to brown mushy apple I was expecting! :eek: What have they done to apples that they aren't turning brown??? Now, you know I can't turn off the scientist in me, because I've decided next time I go to the grocery store, I'm getting one each of several varieties of apple and going to cut them all in half and find out which ones brown and which don't.
 
  • #22
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The trick with cheese, and pre-wrapped deli meats, is the bacteria on the outside of the packages. So wash them before you cut into them, only once, but that keeps the bacteria on the outside of the package from contaminating the stuff on the inside. A lot of prepackaged cuts of meat are irradiated, and only get dirty in post handling, in warehouses, or when stockers at end retail outlets sneeze and etc...

My story, I decided to read the label on a bottle of fish sauce, wondering what the ingredients were...it read.

Finest fish sauce made of anchovy fish, herded into concrete ponds, killed with dynamite, and left to ferment in the sun, oxygen pumped through to help with fermentation, drained and bottled, all under the strictest sanitary conditions, in The Peoples Republic Of China.
 
  • #23
Evo
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Dayle Record said:
Finest fish sauce made of anchovy fish, herded into concrete ponds, killed with dynamite, and left to ferment in the sun, oxygen pumped through to help with fermentation, drained and bottled, all under the strictest sanitary conditions, in The Peoples Republic Of China.
Dynamite? :rofl:
 
  • #24
brewnog
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Yeah. As you can imagine, it's a lot easier than getting them all by hook & worm.

Pretty effective, but also pretty illegal and unsporting. Only to be used in survival situations (the kind of survival situations where you need a shedload of fish, and you have dynamite). Standard practice for Chinese anchovy fisheries, so I've heard.... :smile:
 
  • #25
Evo
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Don't they blow all over the place?
 

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