You probably have thrown away packet of your faviourite cookies/biscuits after seeing it had outlasted the expiry date — even by just a day or two. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
Of course, no one wants to risk food poisoning or sickness. But is the food label really the best way to judge when things in your fridge go bad? Despite popular belief, food labels are often misunderstood — and quite misleading.
Food Expiration Dates Facts
1.Sell By/Best Before/Use By(Expiry Date) – All are different
- “Sell by” date. The labeling “sell by” tells the store how long to display the product for sale. One should buy the product before the date expires. This is basically a guide for the retailer, so the store knows when to pull the item. This is not mandatory, so reach in back and get the freshest. The issue is quality of the item (freshness, taste, and consistency) rather than whether it is on the verge of spoiling. “Sell by” date is the last day the item is at its highest level of quality, but it will still be edible for some time after.
- “Best if used by (or before)” date. This refers strictly to quality, not safety. This date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date. Sour cream, for instance, is already sour, but can have a zippier, fresh taste when freshly sour (if that’s not an oxymoron!)
- “Guaranteed fresh” date. This usually refers to bakery items. They will still be edible after the date, but will not be at peak freshness.
- “Use by” date. This is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
2. Only 5 types of products have expiration dates
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandates that only five types of products need to be labelled with an expiration date:
- Baby formula and other human milk substitutes.
- Nutritional supplements.
- Meal replacements.
- Pharmacist-sold foods for very low-energy diets.
- Formulated liquid diets.
3.Opened packages negate best before date
The best before date no longer applies if a package is opened or if the food is frozen, according to Health Canada. Once a sealed product is exposed to air it can be cross-contaminated.
If a food is properly frozen two days before its best before date, says Paroschy Harris, it should be edible for another two days at the start of the thawing process.
4.Foods that can be eaten after expiration date.
Canned Foods:Usually a expiry date of 3 years is mentioned on canned products but you can consume them upto 5 years if it has been stored in a cool and dry place.
Cereals: It can be consumed upto 6 months post expiry date but don’t forget to check for stale smell!
Frozen Food: Lowering down temp to freezing level decreases microbial contamination and inactives it. So it you have freezed your food, it can be eaten post expiry date.
Dry pasta: It dosen’t spoil easily as it’s moisture content is less than 12.5 % giving no room for spoilage.
5. There is a separate supermarket to buy Expired Foods that too on huge discounts!! Read More..