Watch for bulk food container spoilage

I had purchased a large plastic container of regular mustard and stored it in my preps. 

It was opened once to put mustard into my working supply upstairs, then the lid was closed properly and stored in a cool dry environment with the rest of the preps.

I went to refill the working supply and happened to notice something about the lid from the corner of my eye. I looked and there was mould growing in the lid.

That’s when I realized that the cardboard liner inside of the lid had become a spot for mould to grow. The entire container had to be discarded.

I also had this happen with a maple syrup that was stored in my fridge. I am careful now to not let the maple syrup touch the cap of the glass container.

I now watch the underside of any lids for mould growth and note opening dates in a marker on the label of any fridge items, like jams, ketchup or other condiments.

The experience has changed how I view bulk items that are “wet” as a working supply. Although it is more costly, I have switched to smaller containers to be opened and used. A large container of a spoiled prep item is worthless.


  • Comments (2)

    • 3

      Whenever I have food spoil, it just ruins my entire day. I hate being wasteful and throwing things out because I didn’t eat them fast enough. Or worst is when you cook a bunch of meat and are letting it cool down before you put it in the fridge, but forget to put it in the fridge and leave it out all night. I kicked myself pretty hard for that one.

      Not sure how stores work in other areas, but my grocery stores have a little smaller number on each of the price tags showing how much each item is per ounce. Sometimes the smaller bottle is cheaper per ounce than the bulk value pack, not always but I have seen sometimes when it is. 

      I do like getting the bulk value pack to contribute less waste to landfills, but have been starting to buy the smaller bottles or packs if it is only a few cents more for the smaller option. I am able to eat those sooner and not throw out as much food.

      • 4

        Hi Liz,

        I have done the same thing myself and it is hard when you don’t like to waste anything. But, we are human and make mistakes. At least we care if we happen to waste something unintentionally.

        Our stores also show the unit price. I just encountered an example of how a smaller quantity of an item was actually less expensive by quantity and price than the larger quantity. 

        Persil original laundry detergent 62 count pucks was priced at CAD $19.98. The 40 count pucks container of Persil was on sale for CAD $9.99. 

        So I got 80 pucks by buying two 40 counts at a total of CAD $19.98. Same price as the 62 count but I got 18 more pucks for every two containers I bought.

        I have found the same type of savings on the small containers of Co-op Gold margarine over the 1.81 kg, but only during certain sales. I shop with a calculator to do rapid comparisons as sometimes, the unit prices can be hard to see if on the bottom shelves or not properly marked.

        I try to avoid landfill items, too. Sometimes, it is a trade off, although with our new regulations in Canada, all packaging must be recyclable soon. That will help for smaller quantity items.