Food Safety Issues/Baby food left in trunk


I forgot a bunch of baby food in my trunk (in hawai'i - it gets hot) for about 2 days and some bananas too - are they still safe to eat?

ANSWER: Dear Kalau,

The recommendation for jarred baby food that has been in a very hot environment (such as a trunk in Hawaii for 2 days) is to not use the food.  

Baby food that is stored in extreme temperatures can break down nutritionally and also may develop quality issues (change in flavor, texture, color, etc.) Because of these potential problems it is not recommended to take a chance with food that may harm those most vulnerable to food borne illness.

As far as the bananas, extreme heat will accelerate the ripening process, causing the flesh to soften and to become less starchy.  I would consider using them in baked goods (bread, cookies, etc) at this point and would not serve them raw to infants or very young children.

I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii for the first time this summer and very much enjoyed the islands.  You are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Aloha and Happy Holidays!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Man - I'm super bummed I had about 120 jars in there and now all wasted? What about the baby cereal? Are they safe to eat?

Hi Again,

I'm so sorry that you had 120 jars in the trunk and will now be throwing them away.  Real bummer...

The baby cereal in the cardboard box containers should be okay to use as it is a dry product that is not subject to the same potential harmful microorganisms as canned baby food. However, if you notice any change in the look, smell or taste of the product once prepared then please toss the cereal.  


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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