What happens if you eat expired food?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired food?” and the suggestions for preventing food poisoning.

What happens if you eat expired food?

Eating expired food will give you food poisoning.  Although the majority of people avoid eating old food to prevent getting sick, others do so for health reasons. While food poisoning is a frequent problem that affects one in every six Americans each year, the USDA says that it is very rare for it to develop as a consequence of consuming expired food.

It is believed that the majority of food poisoning cases are caused by eating anything that has been contaminated with harmful germs such as salmonella or listeria. In the United States, according to the National Library of Medicine, these bacteria do not emerge out of anywhere after an item’s expiry date has passed; rather, they are most likely present at the moment the item is bought.

We’ve found that when food goes bad, it may smell and taste awful, suggesting that it’s decomposing and might be hazardous to your health if consumed. You will quit eating it since the flavor will be unpleasant.

Unsafe food handling may also result in food poisoning, such as when sick hands come into contact with the food before it reaches your plate or when an egg salad sandwich is left out in the hot sun for an extended time.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) contends that the length of time a meal spends in the danger zone of 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, rather than the time it is kept, is the most important indication of a product’s safety, in contrast to common perception.

What are the contributing factors to food poisoning?

Among the most common bacteria that may cause food-borne disease are Salmonella, toxoplasma, cereus, clostridia, listeria, and E. coli. Salmonella is the most common bacterium that can cause food-borne illness.

When raw meats and poultry are kept in their juices in the refrigerator, the risk of food poisoning increases, with the possibility of cross-contamination to other items.

It is quite easy for bacteria that are dangerous to humans to spread throughout the food preparation process. Immediately after chopping the chicken or pig on the cutting board, wash it well in HOT water.

The presence of cooked meals left out for a barbeque or carried in a vehicle for a picnic is an excellent breeding ground for dangerous germs. Because bacteria grow more quickly at higher temperatures, their number doubles every 20 minutes!! As a result, food retains enough germs to get you very sick in hot weather very fast.

The cause of food poisoning and the length of time it lasts are both unknown.

In certain cases, symptoms of food poisoning may appear as soon as four hours after eating contaminated food and can persist for up to 24 hours. The same contaminated food is consumed by a group of people at the same time, such as during a picnic or barbecue, and they often get sick at the same time. If you continue to eat contaminated food inadvertently, your symptoms may last for three to four days or longer.

What Is the Treatment for Food Poisoning?

The most important line of defense against food poisoning is to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration as soon as possible. After your stomach has had time to settle, drink, drink, and more drink. We are not talking about alcoholic beverages here.

Suggestions for Preventing Food Poisoning include:

  • Maintaining the temperature of hot food is essential. Cold items are referred to as COLD, while meals that have been cooked are referred to as HOT.
  • Before cooking meals, throughout the process of creating different dishes, and after food preparation, it is important to wash your hands.
  • When grilling chicken, beef, or pig, look for pink fluids in the flesh before cooking it. If the meal has been fully cooked, the fluids should be clear and visible.
  • Allow for no more than two hours of resting time at room temperature for meals.
  • Do not refrigerate or reheat leftovers that have been sitting at room temperature or outdoors for more than two hours, even if you intend to. Following refrigeration, dangerous bacteria will continue to grow and spread throughout the leftovers.
  • Broken eggs and other goods packed in contaminated cans should be avoided.
  • Perishable items should be refrigerated or frozen immediately.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired food?” and the suggestions for preventing food poisoning.



Hello, I am Medhavi Singh. I am a PhD Scholar in the field of Food Science and Nutrition. I'm a skilled professional in Nutrition and Food technology. I love baking and writing food blogs, and in future, I want to become a Food Scientist.