Expiration dates: reminder

jakkom

Ran across this on another web forum and thought some folks here might find it useful.


Dates printed on packages

Labeling food products with “expiration” and “best before” dates is completely voluntary. Only makers of infant formula, and some baby foods, are mandated to print expiration dates on their products.


An “expiration date” is the most serious label as it marks the last day a certain product is safe to consume according to the FDA. To the contrary, a “best before” date or “use by” date is simply the last day the food is guaranteed to be as fresh and tasty as the manufacturer intended. It’s still safe to eat after that, just not as fresh. A “sell by” date only indicates how long a supermarket should keep the item on the shelf. You should buy these items by that date, but you still have a few days to consume it.

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Jasdip

Our products in Canada only have a Best Before date. People throw out a lot of food, because they think it's expired on that date.

I'm actually a benefactor of milk, as a friend works at a women's shelter and they literally pour all the milk down the drain on the date. They should know better, but that is the guideline they are to follow. She often brings me cartons of milk, and I've yet to have one sour on me.

Yogurt, sour cream etc are good well beyond the best before date.

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plllog

True. Yoghurt and the like, in sealed containers, under constant refrigeration, can actually last for years. I don’t know if the nutrition value degrades, like it does with old veg, but it can be safely eaten (obviously, if free from mold and not gone off),

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foodonastump

Fresh meats seem to be an exception. They start to look and smell less than good, often even before the sell by date. By the time the manager makes it a special that chopped chuck is brown. Fine when cooked through? Probably but I can’t do it.

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CA Kate z9

jakkom, Thank you for the reminder. I have started watching for these dates since I've gotten some really old canned foods during this shut-down.

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Rose Pekelnicky

I periodically have to throw things away because they are old, mostly boxed mixes. I always think how appalled my husband would be if he was here to see it. Things look good to me in the store but then I never make them.

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plllog

Mixes can go rancid, so I’d watch those dates, too.

Meat will tell you when it's bad. Bacteria growth outgasses and stinks. Rot also smells bad and oozes a whitish liquid. Red meat turns brown from the blood that makes it red, just like a scab. The brown on the surface isn't a problem for eating, if it smells fine. It's a sign not to buy if you can help it because it's already on the road to deterioration, and most people keep it for several days before cooking. If it's in a completely sealed, no air package, brown is a worse sign, because it may mean the seal is broken or it was brown before it was sealed. But again, cook to safe temperature, and it should be safe to eat, if it smells fresh when you open the package. OTOH, i wouldn't buy loose chopped or ground that wasn’t very very fresh. Cutting up the meat distributes the bacteria all over.

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lindac92

And that's why you see so much ground beef sold in "tubes"....eww. I won't touch that stuff!! Can't even see what it looks like!
Yesterday, I opened a package of cream cheese that was dated more than a year ago. It got warm during the derecho, but was just fine when i opened it. I did have a brand new package in case it was bad....but it was fine!!

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Nana H

I am fussy about some BB dates and less fussed about others. I am religious about meat, dairy, and most baking products but quite lenient when it comes to most condiments especially anything with vinegar in it.

My DD is anal about it...she makes me a crazy person with her obsession! So much needless waste in my view. She must have learned that from her father!

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