Happy [and Safe] Birthday!

Almost every single member of my immediate and extended family has a birthday in March or April. For us, it is a time of gifting, celebrating and eating cake! It seemed like a great time to shed some light on a that question I get often:

Can I leave cakes or pastries made with buttercream frosting at room temperature for extended periods of time? Will the frosting spoil?

Butter is made from milk, which we know must be kept refrigerated to ensure safety. So, why do so many people leave their butter (and uncooked, butter-based products like frosting) out on the countertop? Is this practice safe?

birthday-cake-380178_1280Though butter is made with milk, it consists of 20% water (which is relatively low compared to other foods), and it generally contains salt. These two characteristics make butter a place where pathogens are unlikely to grow. Food-borne illness outbreaks associated with butter have not come to public attention recently. In the past, butter was made with unpasteurized milk, making food-borne illness outbreaks from butter more common, but since the milk in butter is now pasteurized, this is no longer a concern.

According to University of Missouri Extension, it is recommended that you store butter [or something made with butter like buttercream frosting] in the refrigerator, covered between meals. However, this source indicates that you do not need to worry “too much” about the safety of consuming butter that has not been refrigerated. Refrigerating your butter and butter-based products, however, will virtually assure safety. The main reason to refrigerate your butter is to extend its shelf life and prevent rancidity.

And, remember that because of its high fat content, butter is highly caloric so consume it in moderation!

Source: http://missourifamilies.org/quick/foodsafetyqa/qafs649.htm

Author: Joanna Rini, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Food Safety and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s