Most leftovers can be refrigerated and re-heated for seven days without fear of spoiling. We tend to follow this same rule of thumb for opened containers of things like salsa, cooked beans, cooked rice, and other meal components.
But our ultimate authority on spoilage is usually our nose and our eyes! If it smells funny, looks discolored, or we see visible mold growth anywhere, we usually throw it away. The exceptions here are things like cheese and bread, where we shave off the moldy bits and make a point of using it soon.
Of course, we're average, healthy adults and we're usually not risking much more than a stomach ache or some extra time in the bathroom. If you are elderly, are pregnant or a nursing mother, or have a compromised immune system, however, the consequences can be much more severe. These folks often need to take extra precautions to make sure their food is safe.
We all have different comfort levels on this issue. What's yours?
(Image: Emma Christensen)