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Bento 99: The really, REALLY bad ochazuke

November 23, 2010

Today I had ochazuke – or I ‘tried’ to have ochazuke. I have received adorable packs of pokemon ochazuke seasoning from Sheri, and thought it perfect for the weather – plus it’s cute! So I packed an ochazuke for today, like I had packed a number of times previously. Precooked tofu, octodogs, tsukenomo and some lightly blanched beans. Come lunch time, all I have to do is mix the Pokemon ochazuke with hot water and pour it over – lunch is served!

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bento98a

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However, I think (not 100%) that the bento might got left out way too long…..I usually let the bento cool and then place it in the fridge the night before. This time around, I think I left it to cool, and asked bacon to pack it away later that night in the fridge, which I think he must have forgotten to until morning..and I thought he had taken out the bento from the fridge for me. There might be another reason though. I don’t place my bentos in the fridge when I get to work as it always comes out way too cold to consume, so it remains on my desk until lunch time. Now, I only do this because my office is pretty chilly anyway, but it was unseasonably hot…and therefore did not help the bento lifespan. Or another reason might be that the tofu, beans and hotdogs were leftovers, and probably I kept it a day too long in the fridge. Or a combination of all three. Upon cracking open my mini tiffin, a strange smell emated from it…..and then I spotted the white mold growing from my beans. Hm.

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eeew

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So lesson no. 1 in bento packing; pay attention to food safety guidelines!! No cross-contanimation, make sure the food is completely cooled before closing the lid, always keep cold until it is time to eat. This is especially important if you are packing for children, the mold on the bean was pretty fine, I only spotted it because I wanted to rearrange the bento to snap another picture. A child with a short lunch break would probably not pay as much attention to the mold, or even know what it is.

After packing bentos all this months (This is the 99th bento!!!) – this is the first time I have actually experienced a gone off bento. Wow. I had to get some microwave food for lunch instead as it was past mid day and the cooked food counter was packed. Maybe this is punishment for my lack of bento in November…heh. The Bento Gods had conspired against me, I tell you! Ochazuke…I shall be back for you…..

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 3:13 pm

    Mold grew in just 24 hours?

    • November 23, 2010 3:54 pm

      It’s possible. I’ve seen stuff grow overnight in my fridge ( D= ), can imagine what happens outside. And this is visible going bad.
      Bacteria duplicate themselves to grow, so it gets a lot very fast (even if you start off with just 1 or 2; 2 -4 -8 -26 – 32 – 64 -128 – get my point?). Considering the conditions were perfect (warm, moist) this isn’t very unlikely

    • November 23, 2010 3:56 pm

      -cough- 26=16. Typo

    • November 24, 2010 1:57 pm

      The food was probably going off to start with – coupled with damp & moist conditions = accident waiting to happen!

  2. November 23, 2010 3:57 pm

    Pretty tsukemono! What are they?

    • November 24, 2010 1:19 pm

      They are actually some takuan which i kept in the same container as the aubergine pickle – turning it pink as a result!

  3. November 23, 2010 4:20 pm

    Oh no! My condolences. But better to spot it than regret it later. Ochazuke can wait!

    • November 24, 2010 1:18 pm

      Yes, I’m really glad I did! Will be packing another ochazuke shortly – I am really curious about the cute ochazuke mix!

  4. November 24, 2010 1:34 am

    I’m glad that you posted an “oops.” Not a lot of bento bloggers post the bentos that go wrong, giving off the impression that when one’s OWN bento goes horribly wrong, it’s because one is incompetent, not because it happens to everyone at some point. And I think it’s a great way to remind people that those guidelines for food handling aren’t just there for fun. It’s good that you caught it before you ate it and got sick! =D Again, thanks for posting and not just hiding it!

    • November 24, 2010 1:17 pm

      Thanks Athena – I did think about not doing it, but I thought it would be fair to show the world that sometimes, bad things do happen!

      • November 25, 2010 1:16 am

        I really agree! I think it’s the most encouraging thing that a bento blogger can do for people just starting out, especially if they’ve already had a flop. =D

  5. November 24, 2010 7:35 am

    Oh mine. Luckily you spotted them before you consume the bento!

  6. November 24, 2010 10:38 am

    Glad that you found it before it’s too late. So sad that you have to throw it away. But no worries, you can always re-make it šŸ™‚

    • November 24, 2010 1:58 pm

      Me too – I can just imagine what would happen if I consumed it! I was really looking forward to ochazuke as well!

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