Little condiment packets can be dangerous : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I started a thread below about odd items people store, and someone mentioned saving fast food condiment packets. I explained that they can eventually swell up and burst, presumably becoming dangerous to eat, and I thought this message was important enough that everyone should see it.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, April 20, 1999


Absolutely! Sam's (among others) sells boxes of those little packets and the sell-by date is only a couple of months. It's also important to remember that deadly botulism (a food poisoning) is undetectable by smell or taste.

-- Old Git (, April 20, 1999.

I posted the reference to the packets. I just checked my stash and can find no 'use by' date anywhere. If I understand your post, Old Git, the date was on the box and not the packets themselves, right?

Shouldn't the packets be marked thus? I mean, if you use one from the counter at [insert fast-food name], say, and you come down with food poisoning, it would be assumed that the food was the culprit and not the packet. I wonder how often they rotate the stock of those things.

And did anyone think to check them when a 'case' of food poisoning came up in the past? Jack-in-the-Box comes to mind but that was traced down to the meat, if I am not mistaken. But did they consider checking the packets during the investigation? I wonder...

I think that if you store them in a cool dark place they should be okay. We have them in separate ziplocs [third generation] by week, and use them accordingly. Also, we store them in a drawer that is seldom used, so they are basically in the dark.

If we kept them in the fridge wouldn't that extend the life expectancy? Since we still have some time to go here, the stash will rotate anyway, but I don't want to get sick. Too much still to do!

I remember not having mayonaise during the 'cane recovery in '92 and how I missed it on sandwiches. You know opened jars don't last long even when on ice.

Please don'tmake me throw them away. They are soooooo handy!

-- J (, April 20, 1999.

Those packets can get little pin-prick holes. If you use one make sure it is air tight by squeezing it. I am especially afraid of the mayo packets. IMHO refrigeration is essential for these things.

-- Packet Inspector (, April 20, 1999.

Yes, sell-by is on box, not packets, expect it's way too expensive to do individual packets. They're meant for fast-food joints and restaurants, and their volume is such that sell-bys aren't (or shouldn't be) a problem.

Pin-pricks: yes, possibly the package deteriorates a little over time and air might get in. Funny when you think about it, those packets sometimes require flamethrowers to get them open! Should last longer in fridge, and things like soy and hot sauce ought to be more than okay. But I was speaking as if there were no refrigeration. Mayo worries me a lot, I don't stash those at all.

What you need is recipes for making your own. . .

-- Old Git (, April 20, 1999.

Thanks again for the advice.

Mayo packets, third drawer, on left in fridge. Ketchup, mustard, relish to right, respectively. Hot sauce, honey sauce, etal, top shelf in back in jar with loose lid. Only those garnered in past two weeks at this point as we will need to 'restart' the stash. Previous allotments will be tested by ssssqqquuuueeeeezzzziiinnnggg them to see what pressure is required to make them pop. Anyone who just leaks in hand will doom the bunch! Actually I did two already (mayo) and it was kinda fun. Brought back memories of when I was a, uh, nevermind.

Recipes abound now with all the printouts from the 'net and the cookbooks and Boy Scout Manuals.

[On an aside, if children are going to help get this country prepared for possible y2k problems, who better than the Scouts. Beats those trenchcoat cowards!]

Gotta pack it in! Later on!

-- J (, April 21, 1999.

You have your refrigerator organized?

I'm lucky to get the kids to let go of the door so it will close at all! And if it wasn't aligned to shut automatically - I don't it would ever close.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, April 22, 1999.

i thought these were irradiated and lasted forever,that is why mayo doesn't need to be refridgerated??

-- ed (, June 12, 1999.

Have a "polly" friend try one first.....

-- Darth Maul (, June 12, 1999.

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