Some boxes of spaghetti got wet, do I need to throw them out

I left some boxes of spaghetti in the car with the window down, and then it rained. So the boxes are a bit wet.

Do I need to throw the spaghetti out? Will the water get to the pasta and allow pathogens to grow?

Its only $3 worth of pasta, so I’d rather not risk it but if I’m worried over nothing I’d want to know that too.

How much spaghetti are we talking about here? :dubious:

Since you’re going to be boiling the stuff in salt water, I don’t think pathogens stand a chance.

If it’s still wet now, try boiling it right away and then put the cooked stuff in Tupperware and stick it in the fridge. (Let it cool first, of course.)

I didn’t even know it still came in boxes. DUH! :smack: I always buy mine in cellophane bags. Keeps it nice and dry. :slight_smile:

If they were slightly damp and in the car for no more than a few hours, I wouldn’t worry about it. Soaking wet and in there overnight? I’d pitch it.

  1. You said the boxes are wet. Is the pasta wet? That’s what matters.

  2. It doesn’t matter if the pasta is wet. You could (a) cook it now, as said upthread; (b) lay it out on a sheet pan or something and let it dry; © store it in the fridge or freezer; (d) do nothing, 'cept maybe dry off the boxes with a paper towel.

It just seems so unlikely that “pathogens” are going to grow, you might as well worry that a maniac at the pasta factory poisoned it with arsenic. People freak out way way too much about that kind of thing, IMHO, FWIW.

I’d worry about mold growing.

I don’t want to eat 3 pounds of spaghetti right now.

Also the shelf life of dry spaghetti is years, but even in the fridge spaghetti is only good for a few days after being cooked. My assumption is that providing water to the pasta allows microbes, some of which are dangerous, to grow.

Open up the boxes and spread the pasta out on cookie sheets. Examine it and if it looks dry, you’re golden. Discard the original boxes and repack the spaghetti in new, sealed bags/containers with today’s date.

If the spaghetti is damp or wet, try to separate the individual pieces and allow to air dry under a clean tea towel. When dry, pack and label as above.

If the spaghetti will not separate cleanly or tends to fragment or turn to mush, discard it outright unless you’re willing to gamble on cooking it right now. If you cook it and can’t eat all of it in a few days, toss it with a bit of olive oil, pack tightly into sealed containers, label and freeze. It’s never going to be brilliant when frozen and thawed but if your option is junking it entirely,…eh.

When I suggested storing it in the fridge or freezer, I meant storing it prior to cooking. That would retard the growth of microbes.

But, really, that’s overkill (or underkill, if you will) because there’s no point. Dry pasta in the box will have next to zilch as far as microscopic life forms that are going to grow to dangerous proportions upon adding a small amount of transient moisture.

If it were my spaghetti this is what I’d do: Inspect the box. If it seems to my eye dry inside, wipe it off and carry on. I would probably shake it a little to back up the visual with an aural assessment. If it sounds dry, all the better. If after that I really thought the noodles might be wet, I’d open the box and lay the spaghetti out in a mono or bilayer, let it sit over night, look at it next day. If it looks ok, put it in a plastic bag and call it done. If it still seems wet (which from your description of the events seems highly unlikely), do same again.

What ever you decide, I wouldn’t throw it out. If you’re still dubious, at the very least keep it around for a while, then check it to see if it has spawned evil. If so (which it won’t), you could throw it out later. At least then you would be acting from a basis of empirical knowledge rather than irrational (again IMHO) fear.

For a measly $3, why take the risk?

Yes, you could put in some effort to confirm it safe - but why spend your time doing that?

In another thread, there was the question of how much you’d need to be paid to have sex with a stranger.
How much would you pay to avoid stomach problems?

$2.99 apparently

Fer crissake, the pasta will be boiled, rinsed and churned around in an acidic bath while it’s digested! If you are so risk adverse that you can’t stomach rolling the dice on such a negligibly non-negative (as in, I submit, asymptotically close to zero) risk of getting a tummy ache from some kind of super duper bad ass microbe that would make it through that, then I have to assume you never eat in a restaurant, or go near a street where a restaurant might be, because the odds of getting food poisoning from a restaurant and getting mowed over by a drunk driver on the same day are exponentially higher than getting sick from eating your momentarily possibly slightly rain-dampened spaghetti.

But, point taken, why spend time or effort trying to think about it rationally for a second, not even to mention doing anything to try to determine if your fears are justifiable? It’s much easier (more comforting?) to carry on in terror of boogeymen super bugs lurking on our dry pasta, the evil cousins of the autism-causing antigens that permeate our vaccines.

Superstition is where it’s at, so let ‘er buck.

You sound like fun

What, you’re not hungry? Push that plate over here.

I live on the edge.

So what did you decide to do? I’m curious.

You said in the OP “…if I’m worried about nothing I’d want to know that too”. I’ve tried to convince you that you’re worried about nothing, while others seem to think that you would be putting yourself at significant risk to eat the pasta.

Who did you go with? What about what they said convinced you? And why were you not convinced by what the other person/people said? Or put another way, what could the rejected opinion had said that would have convinced you it was the better one?

@ OP: If you didn’t boil the spaghetti and use it that very night/day, I’d say it’s not worth the mold risk. Just chuck it and buy new pasta. Just $3. You don’t want to run the aflatoxin risk.

Plus 1.

It would require a heavy soaking to wet that Spaghetti inside the box.

Leave the damp boxes out on the counter to dry overnight.

Throw them out if they aren’t completely dry the next morning.

If you’re really worried, open one box and confirm how deeply the moisture penetrated. Is there any water inside the box? You can tape it back up afterwards.

You sound like you lost the spelling bee in 4th grade due to a mistake your teacher made and never let it go.

I was never varry gud at speling. Thankfully, your OP and the issue being discussed has nothing to do with spelling. It’s more about “fighting ignorance”.

You were interested enough in what people would say to ask your question, and people obliged. I’m just curious to know what you decided, and why.

I’m not obligated to tell you what I decided