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#118498 - 07/20/09 12:27 AM vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after..
Jayhat Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Yakima, WA USA
So I am wondering about vacuum sealing items that say refrigerate after opening.

For example I bought a block of hickory farms cheese that was not refrigerated, however it says "refrigerate after opening". I want to cut it into smaller sections and vacuum seal it. Would this work or after that point would I need to refrigerate it? It would only be out of the package for a few moments...

According to this wiki page I would have to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerate_after_opening

Quote:
the product is immediately exposed to atmospheric oxygen and floating dust particles containing bacteria and mold spores, and all protections from the preservation process are immediately lost.



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#118506 - 07/20/09 10:23 AM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: Jayhat]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By Jayhat
So I am wondering about vacuum sealing items that say refrigerate after opening.

For example I bought a block of hickory farms cheese that was not refrigerated, however it says "refrigerate after opening". I want to cut it into smaller sections and vacuum seal it. Would this work or after that point would I need to refrigerate it? It would only be out of the package for a few moments...

According to this wiki page I would have to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerate_after_opening

Quote:
the product is immediately exposed to atmospheric oxygen and floating dust particles containing bacteria and mold spores, and all protections from the preservation process are immediately lost.




Trust what it says. Buy smaller sized packages.....it is like the shelf stable Pepperoni and bacon, once opened use up within 24 hours.
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#118522 - 07/20/09 02:53 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: sarbar]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I would listen to sarbar, but...
I think if you cut it up, vacuum sealed it, put it in the fridge, took it out the day of the hike, then ate it a week later, you would be good.
Like I said, listen to sarbar.
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#118529 - 07/20/09 03:55 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: finallyME]
Jayhat Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 20
Loc: Yakima, WA USA
Yeah I was thinking about just doing that and throwing the chunks in the freezer. They would have the first day to thaw out and at the most would be in pack for about 3 days total.

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#118537 - 07/20/09 09:19 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: Jayhat]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Now that would be different - and yes, as long as you keep it frozen till trail time, sure! smile
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#118545 - 07/21/09 07:25 AM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: Jayhat]
hoz Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 138
Loc: midwest
I've repackaged cheese before with no problems. I've eaten cheddar cheese after it has been in my pack for 2 weeks. Before going on a trip I buy what I need, cut it up in smaller quantities and wrap it in cheesecloth soaked in vinegar. The acid in vinegar retards any mold growth.

This works best with the harder cheeses.
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#118548 - 07/21/09 10:10 AM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: hoz]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By hoz

This works best with the harder cheeses.


Not to mention that those (expensive!) chunks of real parmigiano reggiano are soooooo good on the trail smile
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#118560 - 07/21/09 01:54 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: phat]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I am just happy that they sell small chunks of gauda already wrapped in wax.
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#118577 - 07/21/09 08:13 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: Jayhat]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Just remember, refrigeration does not stop spoilage. Anybody that's found the New Year's chip dip when putting away the 4th of July salsa knows what I mean. wink Refrigeration slows spoilage, or to put it another way, makes it safer to eat less fresh food. Instead of grocery shopping everyday or a couple times a week and immediately consuming the food, refrigeration allows for weekly or less shopping trips. However, it's no gurarantee but merely an assurance that your food will be OK.

I'll wager that the fact the fridge keeps dirt, bugs, and other contaminants way from uncontaminated food has as much or more to do with delayed spoilage as the cooler temp. So it was 150 years ago and so it will be on the trail.

FB
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"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#118628 - 07/22/09 06:49 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: Fiddleback]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
I'm not really sure but I think that if the package says that it needs to be refrigerated after opening, I think that I would refrigerate it regardless. I definitely would not go without refrigeration...period unless I was eating it fairly quickly after opening...sabre11004.... goodjob
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#118650 - 07/23/09 12:26 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: sabre11004]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Again...cold does not stop spoilage nor does heat cause spoilage. Temperature affects the rate of spoiling, i.e., how fast or how slow the food turns. It's the bad buggies that spoil food.

And that is precisely why so many packaged foods last so long, e.g., the jars of (unrefrigerated) mayo on the stores' shelves. The food is relatively sterile when packaged and doesn't come into contact with other contamination while the seal maintains its integrity. After opening...and following exposure to 'stuff', then spoiling starts...in some cases, quickly without refrigeration in other cases slowly.

Its amusing to note 'our' repulsion to 'spoilage' while ignoring things like the processes involving cheese, aging of beef, various fermented foods, etc.

Be safe...don't take chances...but most of all, be particular about food, camp-kitchen, and personal hygiene. Beyond that, there's many methods to keep food cool while on the trail.

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#118668 - 07/23/09 05:46 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: Fiddleback]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
Its amusing to note 'our' repulsion to 'spoilage' while ignoring things like the processes involving cheese, aging of beef, various fermented foods, etc.

That's because the type of bacteria, yeast or mold involved in cheesemaking, aging beef or controlled fermentation are more or less benign.

What causes food to go bad are the metabolic byproducts of whatever is growing in or on it - basically whatever the itty-bitty critters excrete. It's my theory that bacteria evolved this mechanism to make 'their' food more toxic to competing critters, like you and I. And it works, too. Whatever we throw out, they keep all to themselves. Yum!

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#118745 - 07/26/09 11:38 AM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: aimless]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Quote:
bacteria evolved this mechanism to make 'their' food more toxic to competing critters, like you and I. Yum!


Competing with bacteria for spoiled food? My ego's dinged now knowing where I'm really at on the food chain. grin

The easy answer to the OP's question is forget vacuum sealing, freezin', etc. and just bring along a mega-sack of McDonald's fries -- just McDonald's fries. Besides ingesting that natural nutrition, you could still be eatin' them at the end of your thru-hike on the PCT!

When in doubt, stick with the fluke o' nature.

McBon Appetit!

_________________________
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(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#118857 - 07/28/09 10:47 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate after.. [Re: Jayhat]
Roocketman Offline
member

Registered: 03/10/07
Posts: 203
Cheese is spoiled milk -- and this is truer if the cheese is actual cheese rather than "cheese food" of "processed cheese".

There is a nice discussion of this in "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee (second edition). In the first edition, he gives an overview of the role of cheese in history as it is one of the ways that the warmer European countries could preserve milk - since they had no refrigeration facilities. The Northern Barbarians could drink more of their milk because of the cooler temperatures and were called the "milk eating barbarians". To differentiate thm from the civilized southern people who ate cheese.

There are several real cheeses which you can buy which are wrapped in wax.

I mailed my food supplies to different post offices in June, and opened the last of them just a week ago. The cheese was perfect after setting uncut in the wax coating with NO REFRIGERATION.

In some of the little country stores, they were selling cheese in little plastic wrappers. I asked them how long it would keep and they said "if it develops green mold, just cut it off and continue eating". I believe that McGee says something similar.

I suspect that jelly is generally, but not always, marked "refrigerate after opening" (RAO). I had bought some of the brand that did not have the RAO on it and it was fine repackaged and taken on hiking trips.

Some "RAO" is put on packages to "CYA" or "cover your arse" by the food manufacturers, and their lawyers.

I routinely take summer sausage on bike and backpacking trips and eat each sausage in two days or less, storing it in a plastic baggie.

There are Italian Sausages and Hard Salami products you can buy unrefrigerated in the stores that have listed shelf lives of as long as a year or more after purchase. Bridgeford is the brand name I encounter. It is no trick to eat a 12 oz sausage product in two days. If you look at the ingredients list, you will find LOTS OF PRESERVATIVES. It won't spoil 30 minutes after opening if it had a shelf life of over a year when you bought it.

It helps if you try to think through how long mankind has lived without refrigeration and what that has meant for classic foods like eggs, jelly, meats with ancient preservative techniques ....... and more. Jelly is after all a preservation method for fruits, much as is drying.

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#118958 - 08/01/09 09:26 PM Re: vacuum sealing items that say "refrigerate aft [Re: kevonionia]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Kevon, that is just nasty. eek
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