Foods that do not Spoil
Date: May 2007
Are there any foods, besdies honey, that do not spoil?
Foods that "do not spoil" has to have some qualifications. In particular there is
a different "list" if you allow the food to be sterilized in the container and the
container remains unopened.
What is the definition of "spoil"? It could mean "no growth of microbes", or it
could mean loss of flavor and/or desirable texture (that is some chemical change).
How long is the test run -- days, months, years,...? Has the container been opened?
You may have noted on many food labels: "Refrigerate after opening". Is the
For the present purpose assume the food is open to the air at about 25 C.,
has not been inoculated, and "not spoil" means one year with no microbial growth
apparent. Some candidates include:
Many dry spices last indefinitely, although they may lose some of their "strength".
Peanut butter lasts a long time without growing microbes.
Dark chocolate is very resistant to microbial growth.
Pickles and other "brined" foods such as fish have a long lifetime; however, they
may fall into the category of "Refrigerate after opening."
Lard and many cooking oils have a long "shelf life".
Alcoholic beverages having a large alcohol content can last for many years.
This is just a short list. Look around your pantry or a grocery store and you will
find an amazingly large number of foods that "don't spoil".
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Update: June 2012