Many of us have curiously eaten a product that has passed its expiry date. And we’ve probably all wondered, “Is it still safe to eat it?” “. The answer is not always clear cut, but there are guidelines we can follow.
What is a use-by date?
The use-by date is the date after which a product can no longer be consumed. This date is determined by the manufacturer. It is based on factors such as the stability of the product, how it was prepared and how it will be stored. The products that have an expiry date are the following:
- Fresh meat and poultry.
- Milk and dairy products.
- Processed fruits and vegetables.
- Ready-to-eat foods such as deli meats, cooked chicken and prepared salads.
What is the difference between an expiration date and a use-by date?
A product with an expiration date can still be consumed after that date, but it may not be of the best quality. For example, cereal may taste more bland or less crunchy than usual. However, they are still safe to eat.
On the other hand, foods eaten after their use-by date can cause some health problems. This is because bacteria can grow rapidly on food after this date has passed, even if it has been refrigerated. Eating these foods can make you sick. If in doubt, throw them out!
Is it safe to eat expired food?
You should know that it is possible to consume certain expired foods safely, knowing that they will not be as fresh as you would like. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty (MASA) recommends respecting the use-by date (DLC) of food products, that is to say the date after which the product can no longer be sold.
However, foods with an expiry date (DLUO) can still be consumed. The expiry date is a more conservative estimate of the use-by date. For example, milk usually goes bad before its expiration date, so it’s best to consume it before that date. However, other products, such as canned goods, can be safely eaten well past the expiration date.
In general, it is preferable to judge for oneself the consumption or not of expired products according to taste and smell as well as the detection of mold or the texture of the product in question. However, if you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and discard the food.
How long are foods good after their expiration date?
Have you ever looked at the expiration date on a half-used box of cookies in the back of your pantry and wondered if you could still eat it?
It can be confusing trying to figure out how long foods are good after their expiration date. The fact is that these dates are not always exact. Many can still be consumed long after the expiry date. However, there are a few exceptions. Here is a general guide to help you understand how long foods are good after their expiration date :
- Milk: up to a week.
- Eggs: up to 3 weeks.
- Canned fruits and vegetables: Up to 1 year.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Up to one week.
- Cooked meat: Up to 4 days.
- Bread: Up to a week.
While it’s tempting to save money by eating foods that have passed their best before dates, it’s not worth the effort. There are too many potential health risks associated with eating expired food. If in doubt, throw them out! Play the safety card and favor fresh foods whose expiry date has not passed to avoid food poisoning.