Signs that you need to throw away your leftovers immediately

No one likes to throw away food, but unfortunately, it is necessary to do so in some cases. If the leftovers of ready-made dishes have been in the refrigerator for too long, and their freshness is in doubt, it is better to eliminate them. Here are some signs to help you understand that food is no longer fit for consumption.

Food has been in the refrigerator for more than one week

If the finished meal has been in the refrigerator for more than one week, it is worth throwing it away, even when it appears to look normal. You do not need to finish these food leftovers yourself or give them to your pets, as this can lead to poisoning.

Some foods, such as soups, stews and casseroles, are best left in the refrigerator not even for a week, but only for 3-4 days. To avoid having to waste your food next time, follow these tips


Colour change

Before eating a ready-made dish that has been in the refrigerator for several days, carefully look at the colour of the products that make up it. For example, if roast beef changes colour from dark brown to grey and looks like an elephant’s foot, it is no longer safe, which means it’s time to get rid of it.

This method of checking food leftovers is very effective for meals containing meat and dairy products. However, if the food contains preservatives, its colour may not change when spoiled, so it is worth looking for other signs of staleness.


If your food is covered with white-green fluff, then it is time to send it to the trash. Specific forms of mould can cause severe allergic reactions and breathing problems, so dispose of green food without much pity: it can no longer be saved. An exception should be made only for certain cheeses with white or blue mould – fungi in these products are not dangerous.

A pungent smell appeared

Another sign that food leftovers are no longer usable is a pungent, unpleasant and stinky smell. It can often be felt immediately after opening a container or pot of food, but sometimes it only appears after you reheat food.

If you notice that a dish smells strange, it is best to throw it away. It is no longer possible to eat such food without risking health and well-being.

The texture of the products has changed

In rare cases, dishes that have been in the refrigerator for a long time smell normal, do not change colour and do not become mouldy. Then you need to pay attention to the texture of the individual products that make up the dish: if they are covered with a layer of mucus or become loose, they deteriorate.

Note* Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about your health or condition. Never disregard a health care professional’s advice or delay getting it because of what you read on this website.
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