Quick Question about expired food... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 03-09-2005, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really curious to know because this surprises me...

I am helping a family organize their basement and pantry area. Last week I was going through the pantry area and there were tons of food items that were expired so I started throwing those items into a pile to toss. Well, the mother turned to me and asked, why are we throwing food away? I replied, "Most of these items have expired years ago” She looked at me all confused and said, "I didn't realized boxed, canned food, and juice expired" Eeeeek!

Now, I'm a little surprised that someone had no idea that some foods expired.

I guess my question is are there others out there who did not know this?

Or do you have any similar stories?
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#2 of 20 Old 03-09-2005, 09:39 PM
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While visiting my aunt, we had the choice of eating five year-old peanut butter or month-old lunchmeat. We went with the peanut butter!

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#3 of 20 Old 03-09-2005, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by A&A
While visiting my aunt, we had the choice of eating five year-old peanut butter or month-old lunchmeat. We went with the peanut butter!

Yeah I think I'd choose PB also!!
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#4 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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#5 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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I have to say that I don't take the expiration dates on certain foods very seriously. I won't use milk or cream that's a week expired, but the dates on things like pasta, canned foods, even BEER! seem a bit overkill to me. They are just an estimate anyway, and it's generally not that the food will harm you after taht date, just that it is less nutritious. Not a good thing, but also not that big a deal with those types of foods that aren't so nutritious to begin with anyway! JMO
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#6 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ilovelife
I have to say that I don't take the expiration dates on certain foods very seriously. I won't use milk or cream that's a week expired, but the dates on things like pasta, canned foods, even BEER! seem a bit overkill to me. They are just an estimate anyway, and it's generally not that the food will harm you after taht date, just that it is less nutritious. Not a good thing, but also not that big a deal with those types of foods that aren't so nutritious to begin with anyway! JMO
ITA Dh is paranoid and always wants to throw stuff out when it's perfectly fine. Some things really last far longer than the date on them. I had a friend years ago whose boat sank with all their possessions - and food - on board. They had fun when it was salvaged, opening up cans of food to find out what they were - the labels had washed away. Apparently all the food was fine. I didnt eat any, but they did and are still healthy now.
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#7 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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I think people don't trust their own five senses enough. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is quite obvious when food of any kind is spoiled. I've bought chicken and gone to prepare it well before its "expiration" date, but it smelled rancid and I had to toss it. I've cooked and eaten chicken three-to-four days past its expiration date that smelled, looked and tasted fine, with no ill effects. I trust my own senses more than a label printed by a computer at a grocery store.

What did people do before expiration date labels???
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#8 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm alittle weird when it comes to expiration labels because I've actually gotten very ill off of food that has been expired. However, If it's only expired by a couple days or a month that is one thing, but MANY years. Yuck. I think that's gross. Maybe if I've never gotten sick off of it before I wouldn't be so weird about it but some things you have no clue until your eating it.

I really believe there is a reason why there are expiration dates on food. Especially packaged, or processed food. Just thinking about it grosses me out. The food changes and that is why there is an expiration date. Nutrition, and in other ways. I would not want to eat food that has been in can a year past it's expiration date! Eeeeeew
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#9 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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When dh was in seminary, there was food pantry for everyone to use. Most of the food was past due. However, there is a chart or something somewhere that tells how long AFTER the marked date food is still "good" for. I don;t have time to look for it right now; maybe someone can try to google it? But really, if it wasn't for expired canned goods, many food banks would be empty.

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#10 of 20 Old 03-10-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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OK, I lied, I did have time.
http://www.foodbankwny.org/nutrition_2.html
Quote:
Dates are printed on many food products. After the date expires, must you discard that food? In most cases, no. A calendar date may be stamped on a product's package to help the store determine how long to display the product for sale. It is not a safety date. Calendar dates are found primarily on perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry. Coded dates might appear on shelf stable products such as cans and boxes of food.

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#11 of 20 Old 03-11-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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I have to say that I don't take the expiration dates on certain foods very seriously. I won't use milk or cream that's a week expired, but the dates on things like pasta, canned foods, even BEER! seem a bit overkill to me.
Yup!


When my partner's family moved house, I packed up the kitchen for them. There was a tin of black treacle that "expired" in 1996.

We opened it... It tasted fine - we used it in flapjacks - but the pressure had changed in the tin & there was a mini explosion when we opened it!

That's my most exciting expired food story.
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#12 of 20 Old 03-12-2005, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the link Annettemarie!
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#13 of 20 Old 03-12-2005, 01:17 AM
 
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What really irritates me is when you see a date marked on something, but no indication anywhere of whether its a 'sell by' or a 'best by' or a 'use by' date.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#14 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 01:12 AM
 
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I just read on the Horizon website that the date stamped on their eggs is a "Sell By" date, but if properly refrigerated in the original container, they will last 3 weeks past the "Sell By" date. Kind of interesting.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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Eggs are good for a very long time. Just don't ever use a cracked one - ever - and you'll be fine.

I actually set expiration dates for food at my job. Most dates you see are shelf-life dates, and the food is not unsafe afterwards, but may be not-so-tasty. Doritoes have fat in them, and the fat is considered too likely to go rancid on the date on the package. Rancid doritoes are not bad for you, but don't taste good.
Moldy bread - also not bad for you, but not tasty. Might give you a stomachache. Certainly not for the mold sensative.

On canned food - it's safe unless it has a bulging can. Dented cans are suspect - I use them, but the manufacturor will advise you dump them. If you open it and the contents don't have an aroma or are faded, it's a sign that it's degraded. It's not unhealthy, but it won't taste good.

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#16 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 01:36 AM
 
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I hope someone reads this because I have a major food issue.....I tend to throw stuff away because I dont trust it being open for very long....EX: sour cream...once I open it, I will only use it for like a week and then it's trashed if there's any left...Mayonaise....(kraft or best foods) I will only keep for maybe a month....
Even bbq sauce I only like having it in my fridge open for a month or so....then I panic and think bacteria is growing in it....
I am just paranoid of getting sick ...I've heard that just because something smells fine doesnt mean that it's ok to eat......
Anyone have tips on how long mayo, sour cream, dip, yogurt is good for once it's been opened? Thanks ladies......

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#17 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jennisee
I just read on the Horizon website that the date stamped on their eggs is a "Sell By" date, but if properly refrigerated in the original container, they will last 3 weeks past the "Sell By" date. Kind of interesting.
I've noticed that the Horizon organic milk stocked at the supermarket often has a sell by date that is 5 or 6 weeks in the future, where the typical non-organic milk (and the other organic brands) are only two weeks or so away. I've been puzzling as to why that is.

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#18 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mightymoo
I've noticed that the Horizon organic milk stocked at the supermarket often has a sell by date that is 5 or 6 weeks in the future, where the typical non-organic milk (and the other organic brands) are only two weeks or so away. I've been puzzling as to why that is.
It's b/c it's "ultra pasteurized" instead of pasteurized, meaning it is heated to an even higher temperature during the pasteurization process. This kills more of the pathogens, extending the shelf life. I can't remember where I read that--either at the Horizon website or on the milk carton itself.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-13-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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mykds - Sour cream, cottage cheese and yogurt are already milk gone 'bad' and don't usually get worse. The date really is more about separation or the serum from the whey than safety. If they aren't obviously growing mold they're OK, and even then you could pick off the mold & it wouldn't hurt. Plenty of stuff is marked with an expiry date because of separation, discoloration, likelyhood of freezer burn etc. and will not go bad. Commercial mayo, for instance, doesn't spoil like 'real' mayo, and all that mayo stuff you hear about salmonella etc. applies to hommade *not* commercial mayo. Commercial mayo doesn't have the fresh eggs in it that causes homemade mayo to spoil.
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#20 of 20 Old 03-16-2005, 06:05 PM
 
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And unless it's obviously gross, if you're still a bit paranoid about using elderly yogurt, sour cream etc, you can always thin it with water and use it in any baked good that calls for milk or buttermilk. Ditto for milk (only you wouldn't have to thin that, of course).
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