"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Food and Kitchen Safety
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-06-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 57
Food safety question

So Grandma ordered three small fruitcakes which were shipped to her at the end of December and were kept in a refrigerator. Sometime in early to mid January she took the fruitcakes out and soaked them in alcohol (Brandy, I think). She wrapped them up in either a cheese cloth or old t-shirt with an outer layer of aluminum foil. She put them on top the freezer in the garage where they are currently still sitting.

I'm wondering whether these would still be safe to eat? I'm sure she probably thinks they are and will insist that I try one. But considering they've been sitting on a freezer which probably gets warm and the outside temperature fluctuates, I can't imagine they'd be safe. The temperature in the garage has ranged from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. One day might be 40, the night might be 25, then the next day might be 70, then the night be 35. The temperatures around here have been crazy this year.

Do you think these fruitcakes would still be safe to eat? It's really the fluctuating temperatures that have me concerned, plus that they're sitting on top a freezer. It would seem like this would be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. I would throw them away myself, but I know Grandma is gonna want me to taste one of them.

__________________

__________________
mj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,094
I used to order fruitcake from a monastery for my mom (now deceased, but not from fruitcake), and they were always shipped without any refrigeration. The monastery ships year 'round, during all kinds of temps. I see fruitcakes in stores that are left out in all kinds of temps. I think you should be fine. If it smells funny, don't eat it. My issue might be that she took the FC from the original wrapper and rolled it in a t-shirt...
__________________

__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,349
Fruit cakes never were refrigerated throughout history. The high sugar content and the booze serve to keep them safe. I'd eat it.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #4
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
In fact, classic fruitcake is aged in brandy. Of course, that normally means soaking the cheesecloth (or Uncle Fred's tee-shirt) in brandy and wrapping the cake, but her method should work. But it's plenty well aged after a month, so it's certainly time to go ahead and freeze it or eat it. It's not getting any better now.
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,256
It will probably show obvious mold if it's bad.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 24,094
I think the consensus is: go ahead and eat it. I would.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 810
If it's a good fruit cake recipe, I would enjoy them. If it's recipe that no one has ever liked, this is a good excuse to get rid of them.
__________________
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,005
I agree with the others.

If you don't see mold it is probably fine.

I would serve small slices of it with some good sharp cheddar cheese.

If it is dry then I would serve it with a warm nutmeg sauce.

Nutmeg sauce:

1/4 to a 1/2cup of sugar
1 T of cornstarch.
1/4 to 1/2 t of ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
1/2 to 1t vanilla extract
1 T butter

Mix sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg together in a saucepan, stir in boiling water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens and clears. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and butter, continue stirring until the butter melts and serve.
__________________
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
Cooking Goddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Body in MA ~ Heart in OH
Posts: 8,248
Another vote for it should be safe. My MIL made a really good (honest!) fruitcake every holiday season. We lived in OH and she lived in FL. She'd mail it out the day after Thanksgiving at the latest, already cheesecloth wrapped and doused with rum, then wrapped in foil. When she was being silly she'd even put a "tax stamp" over the fold! It came with directions to unwrap the foil, add more rum, re-wrap and return to the counter once a week. By Christmas the foil was getting tiny pinholes in it from the alcohol! It was good and safe every single year.

Nothin' like chasing it down with a small glass of Drunken Cherries.
__________________
... nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have... ~~~ LeBron James
Cooking Goddess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 02:33 AM   #10
The Dude Abides
 
TATTRAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bermuda Native in D.C./NoVA
Posts: 5,324
Send a message via AIM to TATTRAT Send a message via Yahoo to TATTRAT Send a message via Skype™ to TATTRAT
Fruitcakes don't have a shelf life, they have a half life.


Your eyes and nose, knows.
__________________

__________________
flickr
TATTRAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
food

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.