Hanging on to leftovers is a great way to plan meals on the cheap and avoid wasting food, but from lazy-night lo mein to the last scraps of a Christmas feast, everything has a shelf life. In the absence of expiration dates, sometimes it takes a little culinary detective work to tell if leftovers have seen better days.
Sight, smell and touch are easy ways to tell if food has gone bad. Check your dishes for one or more of these tell-tale signs of spoilage.
There’s a slimy film.
If lunch meats and holiday roasts feel slick to the touch or have a weird, glossy sheen, it’s probably time to toss them out. Vegetables can fall prey to this, as well—if your salad looks soggy, it’s past its prime and shouldn’t be eaten.