Be Less Stringent About Tossing Expired Food

If there's mould growing on it, or it has a funky look or smell, go ahead and toss it. But if you're adding to the 14 per cent of food wasted by US households due only to a very conservative "Best used by" date, think twice.

That's the consensus of a number of food advocates and professionals interviewed by the Boston Globe. Although there's no hard and fast rules on just how far past an expiration date one should feel safe to go, there's a general consensus that many dates are arrived at through a mixture of overly conservative estimates and gung-ho salesmanship.

Got a fridge find that looks and smells fine, despite the date? Peek at Shelf Life Advice and get a feel for how long your food will generally last, if stored properly. Got advice or stories on unrealistic food dates? Share them in the comments. Photo by LetTheCardsFall.

What exactly does an expiration date mean? Food lasts longer than the tossers think [The Boston Globe via Consumerist]


Comments

    This is good, it gets annoying when people say 'oh it expired yesterday, toss!'

    Use your head. Our bodies' senses are tuned SPECIFICALLY to working out if something's okay to eat. It's like, their main function.

    Use them!

      OOOH what did u say maan?
      EATING OUT DATED FOODS ARE LIFE THREATENING IF U EAT, LATER U WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH BLOOD DISORDER OR UR EATING WILL END UP IN CANCER.

    My problem with this advice is that, as a contractor, a single day off work from food poisoning will cost me several hundred dollars in lost wages.

    Using milk as an example, I would only have to be wrong once every 200 times or so for it to be not worth the risk.

    It does definitely go both ways. I've grabbed milk from the fridge, still a day or two before its due date, and ended up in the bathroom brushing my teeth seconds later because I didn't smell it first. Admittedly this is only one occasion out of thousands in my lifetime when I've drunk milk and its been fine though.

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