Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?
In this brief article, we will answer the question “Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?”, list down the names of foods you can eat past expiry, and discuss what happens when you eat spoiled food.
Do food expiration dates really matter?
Yes, food expiration dates really matter because they give you an idea about the time a product will retain its texture, taste, and nutritional value.
The ‘best before’, ‘sell by’, ‘use by’ dates are just provided by the manufacturer to give you an idea about the amount of time that a certain product will remain in its optimum condition.
After this time, the food may lose its texture or alter the taste but it necessarily does not get spoiled.
The food generally lasts longer if you store it properly and in the fridge. Lower temperatures arrest the growth of pathogens making the food safe to consume for longer periods of time.
Processed foods have preservatives added to them so they have a longer shelf life. They are even safe to consume weeks after their use by dates.
Be careful with perishable items. For example eggs and dairy products like milk tend to go bad quickly and can cause food poisoning so it is better to throw these things out after their expiry date.
Although a lot of food products are safe to consume after their expiry date, it is better to know around what time a certain product will start to go bad so expiry dates should not be ignored.
Find out more about food expiration dates here.
What foods can you eat past their expiry date?
Pudding cups can stay good for about three to four weeks after their expiry date. So, grab a spoon and indulge in your sweet tooth cravings.
Canned goods come with a long shelf life. Even after their expiry date, they can last for a couple of years given that they were stored in a cool dry place.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the old canned goods should not be leaky or opened in the past.
Bread is good to eat as long as there is no growth of mold on it. It may go stale after a few weeks, but you can always toast it. Bread lasts longer in the fridge rather than on the countertop.
Dry uncooked pasta has a long shelf life. You can use it upto a year past its expiry date. Make sure the texture and smell is okay. Otherwise it is safe to use it.
Frozen packed food is almost always safe to eat after its expiry date has gone by. This is because cooler temperatures arrest the growth of bacteria on food and avoid it from getting spoiled.
Cereals can last for about six months past their expiry date. They may taste a bit stale but are safe to eat.
Condiments like ketchup, mustard, or chili garlic sauce have a long shelf life when they are unopened. Once opened, they can be used upto six months given that you store them properly in the refrigerator.
Cake mixes can be used for upto three to four months past their expiry date. The only prerequisite is that they were stored in a cool dry place.
Can you get food poisoning from eating spoiled food?
Eating spoiled food can make you seriously sick. Food that has spoiled contains a bunch of bacteria or even mold. This bacteria, when ingested, causes food poisoning.
Food poisoning is a type of foodborne illness. The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, headaches, loss of appetite and fever.
Normally, your body’s immune system is able to fight off any small amounts of bacteria ingested but since spoiled food has large amounts of bacteria, it ends up making you sick.
Sometimes, when the infection is severe you may end up having a high grade of fever and diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days. Antibiotics may be required in such cases.
In this brief article, we answered the question “Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?”, listed down the names of foods you can eat past expiry, and discussed what happens when you eat spoiled food.