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How Does Food Go Bad

How Does Food Go Bad

How Does Food Go Bad

Various factors can make food go bad. Factors that can cause food to spoil include microbial, chemical, and physical reactions that can affect the taste, smell, and appearance of the food. Bad food can cause stomach aches, cause loose motions and make you feel sick. You should inspect your food before eating.

Factors which may lead to spoilage in foods include microbes, chemicals, and physical reactions that impact a products flavor, odor, and appearance. Some of the microorganisms naturally found on the surfaces of foods grown on soil may also contribute to food spoilage.

Pathogenic microorganisms may grow on foods without causing a detectable change in smell, appearance, or flavor. It is possible that foods can appear to look and smell safe, yet still contain dangerous levels of pathogenic bacteria. Because bacteria usually do not affect a foods taste, smell, or appearance, it is impossible to know whether or not the food is unsafe to eat.

The bacteria are literally eating your food, and that decomposition process releases chemicals into your food that can taste really bad. When we eat food that has been degraded, we are eating a byproduct created by bacteria as they decompose food. Unfortunately, the longer it replicates, the more spoilt our food becomes, because that is what they are living off of – our food.

Foods at cool temperatureFoods at room temperature
Storing food in refrigerator (At less than 40°F) makes it slow for bacteria to grow.At 40°F to 140°F, bacteria can quickly multiply and produce harmful toxins.
Freezing foods (below 0°F) turn it into a solid state and inactivate the bacterial growth.At room temperature, oxygen provides conditions that enhance bacterial growth.
Storing foods at different temperatures.

That tiny bit of bacteria left present in the food is going to keep multiplying over time. As long as your food continues to freeze, microorganisms are not going to grow, and nothing is going to happen to the food. Then, when you thaw your food items, as Janell Goodwin mentioned, the microorganisms might be gone — they are already growing, and they might get to levels that would make people sick.

By the way if you are interested in How Long Can Yogurt Be Out Of The Fridge Without Going Bad, then check out my another article!

Find out how food go bad

Basically, like Francisco Diez-Gonzalez said, this has to do with how you handle the food item when it is clearly defrosted, but also when you are cooking it. We are literally using tons of energy, water, and chemicals just getting food to the grocery store, and then going and picking food out at the grocery store, cooking it for our families, and 30–40% of that food is literally going into the garbage. Since most of us are not growing our own food these days, we have to take steps to keep the food from spoiling, to make sure the food can survive long enough for it to get transported to the stores where we can purchase it and take it home to prepare and eat. As much as we do not want to waste a nice homemade meal or farmers market produce, we must part ways with our food at times.

To learn about How Long Can You Freeze Seafood, then check out this article.

While being frugal is a smart thing to do, eating leftovers that have been sitting too long in the fridge, or outside, can pose a danger to your health. Repeatedly heating and cooling leftovers increases the amount of time that the food spends growing bacteria at room temperature. Controlling temperatures–refrigerating and freezing foods–also helps to slow the chemical reactions.

To slow down the microbial growth, enzymes, and oxidation processes, keep foods cold. Freezing — Freezing foods changes water from a liquid form into a solid and makes it unavailable for microorganisms and chemical reactions. Free water is not bound to any components of food; it can be used to grow microorganisms, and is also available to chemical reactions.

Oxygen can provide conditions that enhance microorganism growth; it can damage foods through the help of enzymes; and it can cause oxidation. While oxygen is necessary for life, it can cause harmful effects on fats, food colors, vitamins, flavors, and other ingredients in foods.

Oxidation, the chemical process that causes unwanted changes to colors, flavors, and nutritional levels, occurs when air reacts with food components. These enzymes catalyze (speed up) the chemical reactions between oxygen and the food components, and that causes the food to spoil.

Over time, microorganisms use the water inside the food to power chemical reactions that they need to break down food to gain energy and grow. When the food is exposed to air, the microorganisms may land on the food and start the job of breaking the food down for their use. Chemical reactions — The moisture in foods also works to enable chemical reactions to take place among components of a product. Dehydration is a process that removes the moisture in foods, thus slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria that cause spoilage.

Food additives — Salt and sugar are used in many products to bind water, thereby making it less available to microbes to grow in and to perform biochemical reactions. As a result, high levels of salt and/or sugar tend to preserve foods – that is why salt and sugar are used when salting and curing meat.

In liquid foods, the light entanglement may be greater, and as products are mixed together by stirring, larger portions of food components can become degraded. When foods are exposed to light, their outer layers can start to deteriorate, a process known as photodegradation.

Low-hydration foods, including dried grains and legumes like rice or beans, typically last for very long periods of time without spoiling or containing bacteria. Bacteria also grow more quickly in wet environments, which is why dried foods last longer than wet foods. At the typical temperature in your home fridge, like 40degF, for instance, 10,000 bacteria could grow to 10 billion bacteria in four days.

Most fridges are kept at 40deg or lower, so keeping your food cold will slow (but not stop) bacteria growth. When exposed to improper storage conditions, 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F, germs can quickly multiply and produce harmful toxins, even when food consumed is cooked at safe temperatures. Even microwave ovens equipped with turntables may not bake evenly, leaving cold spots on the food, where harmful bacteria may live.

Foods with a lot of moisture, such as meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, are a great breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Organic, locally grown foods, as well as others, may become exposed to harmful bacteria in the growing and harvesting process. The most harmful bacterial strains tend to be found growing more in protein-rich foods, rather than in starchy, sugary foods such as rice.

The effect is because certain foods are more likely to contain pathogens, such as bacteria or toxins, that can make you sick. Foods with high risk for food poisoning are those with a high protein and moisture content, which are two characteristics that enable some germs to grow. While most bacteria are harmless to humans, a buildup of some varieties can cause food poisoning.

Carbohydrate-rich foods are safest to refrigerate, whereas you might want to freeze protein items if possible. While spoilage is a natural process all foods will ultimately undergo if left exposed to elements, you certainly do not want to consume foods that you suspect are spoiling.

Why does food go bad so fast?

Microscopic bacteria cause food spoilage. These minuscule creatures, known as spoilage bacteria, eat unprotected food and create waste. Bacteria will continue to grow as long as food and water are available, sometimes quite quickly. Food that has gone bad has a bad odor and looks rotten because of bacterial waste.

What happens to food when it goes bad?

Foods that rot and acquire undesirable flavors, aromas, or textures are considered spoilt. Fruits and vegetables might become slimy or mushy from bacterial spoilage, and meat can acquire a foul odor. Generally speaking, nobody would prefer to consume rotten food. But even if they did, they most likely wouldn’t become ill.

What are the 5 signs of food spoilage?

A change in look from the meal’s raw state, such as an alteration in color or texture, an unpleasant odor, or an unpleasant flavor, are all indications that the food has spoiled. The object can get softer than usual. If mold develops, it frequently shows up on the items outside.

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