How long will a bento last in the fridge?

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How long will a bento last in the fridge?

Postby friedmedic » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:49 am

Hello all. I would like to begin by saying I am new to "Lunch in a box " and am looking forward to bentoing. However I do have a concern in the area of food safety. I work a 4 day shift, 96 hours straight. Yes we do get to sleep sometimes. For those wondering I am an EMT. But on to my question. How long will a bento last in the fridge? My plan is to make enough bento's to last for my shift. If anyone has any wisdom to share on this I would most certainly appreciate it.

friedmedic
 
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Re: How long will a bento last in the fridge?

Postby Pangolin » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:49 am

FriedMedic, Welcome to the forum!

To answer your question is a little tricky. Different foods definitely have different shelf-lives, even in the fridge. A bento made with cooked chicken, rice and veggies would make four days and most likely be safe (depending on how long it sat out between being cooked and being refridgerated). Sushi with vegetables would last several days, but sushi with raw fish would only be good for about a day after the fish had thawed out. A wrap wih vegetables and deli meat would last two or three days easily, and if you left any sauces in a separate bottle or container until you sat down to eat, nothing would get soggy and have less opportunity to spoil.

Fridge storage of bento meals is no different than fridge storage of leftovers or the individual items packed. The usual problem that many people have with bento is that they DON'T refridgerate them or heat them up, so the concern over packed meals sitting at room-temperature for many hours becomes a concern. Since you are planning on using a refridgerator, I don't see any problem with your plan, as long as you use common sense about how long any particular item lasts in general.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you are going to refriedgerate your meals, but not heat them up for some reason, and they are something that tastes better warm, season them more heavily than you would if you were eating the meal heated up. Tastebuds and noses don't taste things or smell things as well cold as warm, and that can definitely impact the enjoyment of your meal.

(In general, I think many people are much too paranoid about how long leftovers last in a fridge, and how long a packed lunch can handle being at room temperature. I have people come into my shop all the time and are overly concerned about the lack of insulating their kid's school lunches with a bento box because they have this idea that once an apple is cut, or peanut butter touches bread it starts to spoil immediately. :? Just use common sense with what you are packing and you'll be fine!)

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Re: How long will a bento last in the fridge?

Postby friedmedic » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:27 am

Thanks for the info, it is very helpful. I appreciate any and all help with bentoing.

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