Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Expired Food Is Often Fine

The Atlantic:
Much like the Pirate Code, it turns out that expiration dates on food packages are more of a guideline than anything else. Here's Nadia Arumugam, writing in January for
And even the Food and Drug Administration approves of outdated fare. The government agency decided that expiration dates are simply an indication of optimum quality as deemed by the manufacturer. "Foods can remain safe to consume for some time beyond sell-by and even use-by dates provided they are handled and stored properly," says Dr. Ted Labuza, a professor of food science at the University of Minnesota. [...] Apart from baby formula and certain types of baby foods, product dating is not even required by federal regulations.
In many cases, the expiration date simply indicates when a food item has passed the point of optimal quality. Grocery stores will actually take expired foods and turn them into prepared goods sold from behind a counter. In short: this stuff is perfectly safe to eat.
Just a tip, eggs last way past the expiration date.  I've eaten them six months beyond the date, back in the days before I had chickens.  Now that I have the chickens, I sell the eggs and rarely eat any.  As for milk, my experience was that certain grocery stores had milk that lasted longer than other stores.  One store sold milk which was dated 2 weeks beyond the date of purchase, and it would last more than 2 weeks beyond that.  Another store had milk dated 7 days beyond the date of purchase, and it would only last 7 days beyond that.  I always followed the look, smell then taste strategy.  It hasn't failed me yet.

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