How long can we use food items after expiration date?

Consumption of food post its expiry date is a question that haunts most of us. There are certain tests to know whether the food is still fresh post the expiration date. Some foods can stay fresh for a long time while others cannot. According to a famous news portal, the Men’s health nutrition expert, Alan Aragon says, “The more refined and processed a food is, the longer you can keep it past the expiration date”.

Meat and dairy products are generally not recommended for use after the expiration date.

According to Robert Gravani, Ph.D., a professor of food science at Cornell University, food may not be at its peak after those dates and clarifies that the factors such as staleness, colour change are quality problems but are not the safety concerns which means, in many cases, the food that is on the shelf and in the fridge which has passed its expired the date on the package is still fine to eat.

Experts say the “best before” date has nothing to do with the safety of the food but it says about the taste of the food, whereas “expiry date” is something different. They say there should be a strict NO only on the below-mentioned foods, past their expiry dates.

  • Baby formula and other human milk substitutes
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Meal replacements
  • Pharmacist-sold foods for very low-energy diets
  • Formulated liquid diets

The other food products are still safe to eat past the best before date unless they are not exposed to environmental contamination by leaving open. It is said the food might suffer quality changes but not any food safety risk if they are still in their packages.

Apart from these, there are a few things to be kept in mind, which refer to the daily food we use so as to have an idea of safety standards.

  • Keeping the products at recommended temperatures and in a cool, dark place as suggested, can improve the life of the canned products.

  • If by placing an egg in a bowl of water makes it float, understand that the bacteria and gases formed inside the egg make it foul and not fit to be consumed.

  • Unless uncooked pasta gives out a foul smell, it can be used as it doesn’t contain any water element and is a dried product.

  • Bread remains fresh for longer if kept in the fridge and no mold formation.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be easily sensed by holding them. However, it is always healthy to go for fresh foods.

Updated on: 22-Apr-2022


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