Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



What is the refrigerator shelf life of dressings; I.e. Dijon vinaigrette; mustard maple w/cannellini; sesame garlic?

— Kathy Quintin


Okay. Uh, so, um, yeah, let me start by saying that, uh, the general guideline for, uh, shelf life for leftover food is about a week. Okay? And, uh, now having said that, there are some things that may last a little bit less than that, and there are many things that may last a little bit longer than that, but let's start with one week, okay? As that, uh, pretty safe guideline provided. Your refrigerator temperature is about where it needs to be, you know, in the, in the thirties, probably upper thirties or so, and, um, that, uh, containers and utensils are, are clean. In other words, you're not double-dipping, okay? And introducing, you know, saliva and the enzymes in our saliva, um, that can more quickly break down foods, you know, uh, resulting in spoilage. Okay? Um, so, uh, things like dressings are often relatively higher in acid or salt or some other preserving ingredient. Okay? Uh, and in which case, these items will last longer than this seven day guideline that I like to start out with, okay? In these discussions, uh, how long will they last? I don't know. It, uh, just depends. And so you'll need to, uh, keep a vigilant eye, uh, and nos and nose and tongue. Uh, you know, as you analyze these foods each time you use them, and I would say this is true of any leftover food and probably any food that you are gonna consume, I don't care if it's, if it's brand new or if it's been sitting around for four or 5, 6, 7, 8 days. Um, we need to engage with it before we ingest it, okay? Um, and so we, we look, we use all of our senses, uh, to, to evaluate the food. Um, you know, foods will start to change in appearance. Uh, sometimes it's a color change, sometimes it's frothiness on the surface, or some sort of growth, um, that we, uh, uh, recognize as, uh, being out of place. Um, sometimes the smell changes, okay? Uh, whether it's a sourness or a bitterness that develops, same thing on the, on the, on the tongue. Uh, you know, we can pick up, um, bitterness or sourness, uh, as, uh, bacteria consume the sugar, all right? Sweetness drops off, and then flavors start to shift. Um, and I, I recommend, uh, tasting everything, okay? If, if you, if you clearly know it's bad, then you can skip that part. But if you're not sure, then you gotta taste it. I mean, ultimately, that's where the enjoyment is going to be. Okay? Um, and I used to tell my students, you know, when in doubt, put it in your mouth. And, uh, that's the best way, you know, to try it out. And I'd get people that would take a step back, and I'd have to try it for them and show them it was okay to, to use this approach. Um, it's probably not gonna kill you. I can't guarantee that, but probably not. Um, uh, don't go gulping down food that is in question, but just taste it okay. And, uh, see how you like it. And that's really where, uh, you know, dressings are gonna be, they could last for months, um, but they, but depending on what's in them, they may just last seven days. Okay? So I'd like you, um, to use all of your senses and to build that confidence up, uh, around analyzing food for food safety.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction