Food Safety Issues/reuse applesauce?


Is it safe to put applesauce back into original container under these conditions? I recently attended a group meal where applesauce was put in individual serving cups for people to get from a food line. When the meal was over, the unused cups of applesauce were all poured back into the original container to be reused the following week. I'm concerned that because the serving cups were out for anyone to touch/breath/sneeze on and they were out for an hour unrefrigerated that this isn't a good idea.

Hi Lynn,

It is not recommended to recombine food that has been pre-portioned for re-service. A better way to save the cups is to put the applesauce into individual cups with a lid, and then those cups not used can be safely put into the refrigerator for serving the following week.

I agree that re-combining previously uncovered food and placing it back into the original container is not a sanitary practice. I encourage your group to adopt placing lids on the cups and then refrigerating any leftover, covered cups for both safety and quality of the product.

Happy Holidays.


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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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