How do you feel about expiration dates?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2007
How do you feel about expiration dates?
16
Thu, 02-25-2010 - 10:28pm

This is something that has come up recently, and I always wonder about the freshness of my pantry or frozen items, and ponder what that expiration date REALLY means.


First, I totally organised my pantry again, and noticed that some of my boxed items such as Hamburger Helper, are about a year past the expiration date.

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Avatar for monkeesmom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 12:00am

For me, "use by" means just that - use (or freeze) by that date or it will go bad. "Sell by" usually means the product remains fresh for about a week after that date. "Best by" means that the product will be at it's peak of quality before that date, but it is certainly usuable after that. As you discovered with the Tuna Helper, it lacked flavor because it was well past it's "best by" date.


To prevent bugs, freeze any rice, grains, flours, pastas, etc for a day or so to kill any potential eggs lurking in the product.





 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1997
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 10:17am
To me it means that is how long the manufacturer will guarantee the freshness till.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 2:10am

I think things like HH and canned items can be ok just a bit after the exp date. Dairy products are not to be messed with nor fresh meat.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 9:43am

Actually, eating food past it's artificial expiration date is not usually a problem. I've done it all my life. Between understanding what the dates mean and using common sense to tell me if something's spoiled, I've never been sick (except once when I undercooked hamburger and decided to eat it anyway). Here are a couple of articles on the subject.

http://www.thirdage.com/nutrition/food-expiration-dates-what-do-they-really-mean

http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Articles/Nutrition-Health-Food-Labeling-646/food-expiration-dates.aspx

Avatar for scoopsmommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 1:34pm

I throw away anything that is truly "expired", meaning it says "expires by this date".

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2008
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 1:59pm

"I honestly can't believe that the food bank would give out expired foods.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2009
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 3:52pm

our food bank also gives out expired foods. I check it, and either approve it for family consumption or throw it out. If it smells or looks iffy, out it goes. Our food bank gives out a ridiculous amount of junk food, cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. Wouldn't be so bad except that they freeze it until distribution day, and then thaw it. If they gave it out frozen, we'd have the option of continuing to freeze until needed or thawing for same day use. They also give out veggies that can only be used that same day or they are trash.


As for meds, a PP said that they break down and lose effectiveness after the exp date. That's not necessarily true and might lead people to believe that if it loses effectiveness, just take more. Strange things happen to meds after the exp date. They can lose effectiveness, or they can become stronger, or worse, they can become toxic. It's not a place to wonder, just dispose of it properly and buy new.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2007
Sat, 02-27-2010 - 4:28pm

I'm very anal about this. I don't care if its "safe" or not-out it goes if it is past the sell-by date or best-buy date, or whatever.

My MIL and I got into a HUGE fight over this-she gave my son yogurt that was 6 months past the sell-by date. She said it was fine. Luckily he didn't eat much of it.

I personally think its disgusting. But to each his own.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2008
Sun, 02-28-2010 - 12:06pm

For the record, 6 month old yogurt is unacceptable in every way. How was it not moldy? Eww! So glad your little one didn't consume too much!



Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

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Avatar for scoopsmommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 02-28-2010 - 5:04pm

I do want to point outa few

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