Can you get sick from eating food fried in old oil?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating food fried in old oil” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating food fried in old oil. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating food fried in old oil?

When it comes to rancid or old oil, no doubt that it will have off-smell and off-flavors and will also have lost some of its antioxidant content but eating food fried in old oil won’t make you sick.

Short-term usage of rancid oil won’t cause any significant health issues but if you consume rancid oil over a long period of time then it can result in an increase in the number of free radicals in the body that can in turn damage the cells of the body, proteins, and DNA.

The excessive consumption of old and rancid oil over a long period of time has been seen associated with free radicals production in the body that can cause certain harmful effects. The rancid oil has carcinogenic free radicals in it and if someone consumes such oil in large quantities for a long time then these free radicals will mess up the normal body functioning. 

It is worth mentioning that it is the “best by” or “ best before” date that is written on the package of oil instead of the expiration date. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of oil refers to the quality rather than safety so the oil doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date.

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of oil but you can still use oil that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Therefore you should do the sensory evaluation of the oil to reach a final verdict if it is still suitable to consume or not.

It is worth mentioning that if you notice that your oil has become cloudy or flaky, you need not worry as such oil is not rancid. 

The reason behind this cloudy or flaky oil is that it was either kept in the refrigerator or at a very low temperature. What you gotta do is to keep your oil at room temperature and you will notice that the oil has returned to its original state.

There are certain indicators that you should keep into consideration to find out whether your oil has gone rancid or not. You should consider the smell and taste of oil to reach a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Smell

Oil can go rancid and it can develop that unpleasant rancid aroma that is noticeable if you take a sniff test of the oil. 

Color

If you notice that the color of your oil has darkened then it means that your oil is past its prime time.

Taste

Moreover, if you feel some unpleasant taste or rancid taste while taking a bite of food fried in oil then it means that your oil has gone rancid and it is better to discard it.

Tips to properly store oil

  1. You should store your oil away from direct sunlight and heat. As sunlight and heat can increase the rate at which oil can go rancid or stale.
  1. oil starts to lose its characteristic flavor and aroma when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions which can ultimately make it rancid. Therefore to seal the quality of oil for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the oil bottle as soon as you are done pouring the oil that you need to reduce the air exposure of oil.
  1. You can store the unopened olive easily in a cool, dry, and dark corner away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store oil in your pantry, cellar, or kitchen cabinet. You can store the oil in the pantry even after it has been opened and it can last for a long time there.

You can read, Are fried foods bad for you? here

Can you reuse oil after frying?

When it comes to reusing oil after you have fried something like fish, chicken, or any other thing in it, you have to keep some things in mind. Firstly, you should strain the oil before reusing it to get rid of the leftover particles of the previous food that you fried in it.

Moreover, you should try to reuse oil less than 3 times, as the quality and taste of oil deteriorate with each time you fry something in it. 

Therefore you will notice that you won’t get the same flavor of the fried food after you have fried for the fourth time in the same oil as you got when you fried something in it for the first time.

It is worth mentioning that you should carefully choose the oil you are hoping to use for deep frying as the oils having a low smoking point will break down and start smoking at low temperatures. This can also result in the formation of free radicals in the oil which are harmful to health.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating food fried in old oil” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating food fried in old oil. 

Citations

https://www.livestrong.com/article/459786-can-you-get-sick-from-eating-rancid-oil/#:~:text=Tip-,Consuming%20rancid%20edible%20oil%20may%20leave%20an%20unpleasant%20taste%2C%20but,the%20development%20of%20chronic%20diseases.

https://www.dvo.com/newsletter/weekly/2016/12-09-162/cooknart7.html

https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/national/can-you-reuse-fry-oil#:~:text=Yes%2C%20it%20is%20OK%20to,that%20might%20be%20left%20over.

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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