TODAY   |  March 04, 2013

7 kitchen items you should toss right now

It’s easy to tell when some food items have been around too long, but figuring out the freshness of other items in your kitchen may not be so obvious. Yahoo’s Farnoosh Torabi shares how you can know when to throw out your morning coffee, spices, and more.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's" home, seven kitchen items you should toss right now with a quick look and a sniff and a cringe, you can easily tell when some items have past their due date . financial financially fit on yahoo! is here.

>> er. good to see you.

>> good morning, willie.

>> these are staples of diets, cold pizza . a lot of people want to make food last but there are dangers to that.

>> you don't want to get any sort of food-born illness. when you get sick that's more money you have to spend to take care of yourself. starting with your morning latte. anything you're putting a lot of milk in, you want to be cautious. i've been guilty of nursing the latte for hours into lunch. one hour after it's been sitting at room temperature .

>> one hour?

>> one hour. you may not begin to start anything fishy or gross but it's probably not a good idea to drink it.

>> what if i have a mini fridge at work, drink half of it, pop it in the fridge. is that okay?

>> i think that's a good idea. saving yourself some money.

>> but not the next day?

>> not even a few hours at room temperature . the warmer the room, and if the cup is exposed, the more likely the bacteria will likely develop.

>> eggs is a really good one. you feel looking at it it's okay to keep them a while. they feel self sealed.

>> even though the use by date says march 15th it's probably good for a few more weeks after that. how do you really know? there's no scent or odor. take a clear bowl. fill it with cold water . take an egg. i don't want to drop this. you just put it in the water and see what happens. if it sinks to the bottom like this egg is, then that means it's a good egg. if it floats, then it's a bad egg . eggs are actually very pourous. the more air in the egg, uh-uh know it's a bad egg . if this egg was resting on its tip, up, it's probably good to eat that sooner rather than later. it's kind of an in-between area.

>> it probably varies from egg to egg or certain kinds of eggs, but is there a rule for how long you should keep an egg around?

>> my producer and i did this test on our show. the egg was three months after the use by date and it was still good. you really have to do the test. to keep them fresh keep them in a dark area in the back of your fridge so they're not exposed to the open and shut of your fridge or the air.

>> this is really easy.

>> easy.

>> spice rack. another thing where it's like it's dry. you can keep it forever.

>> you get these spices years ago, still have your broground cumin. they don't necessarily spoil but do lose their strength and flavor over time. cumin, cinnamon, discard after one year, whole spices discard after two years and whole roots like ginger, discard after three years. maybe put some dates on top of your --

>> i'm smiling because i have spices in my home that are antiques. you're killing me with this. you're killing me.

>> raise your hand if you had like leftover pizza in college.

>> college? this weekend.

>> rule of thumb is any sort of leftovers, meats and roo cheeses left out on the counter for more than two hours, discard. put it in an air-tight ziploc, it upp tupperware, lasts for three or four days.

>> as long as it's sealed you can do the cold pizza ?

>> for three or four more days but zap it. don't eat it cold.

>> this is an important one.

>> babies are really susceptible to food-born illnesses. rules of safety. when you're feeding your child -- this is stuck to the -- okay. let's pretend. here we go. thank you. you want to take a spoon. take a portion. put it in a clean bowl. don't double dip into the food jar and serve your baby. the bacteria from the saliva to the jar can be a risky thing. then you want to feed your baby from the jar -- from the bowl as you see here. and whatever food is left in this jar can be in the refrigerator for about 24 hours . after that, you want to discard it. this can actually be sitting at room temperature for only about two hours, like that pizza, before you want to discard it.

>> put it in a second container?

>> so that you avoid this from getting contaminated.

>> this is a big one. sponges are just magnets for back te bacteria.

>> we're washing the surface of the siveng. a study found that your sponge is the germiest item in your entire home, more than your toilet seat cover.

>> come on.

>> disgusting.

>> really?

>> yes. discard after two weeks. meantime, to keep it germ free, soak it under hot water , zap it in the microwave for two minutes on high. you have a germ-free sponge.

>> you can get a brush with the handle to do your dishes?

>> good tip.

>> if you chip a plate it's a problem?

>> you've essentially broken the sanitary seal in the plate. because it's pourous here, watch washing it with will not remove the bacteria that's embedded in the plate. so you have to throw it out.

>> even if it's a smallest chip?

>> sometimes it gets you the biggest problem.

>> i'm not sure i liked it all but i learned a lot.

>> saving you money.