As providers of industrial coding and marking solutions, we know that many consumers in the U.S., UK, and other areas take those best before dates as the gospel. In fact, many people throw foods out after these dates, and considering that wasted food is a huge problem in many countries, the UK has an interesting take on these dates. According to a recent article at the Daily Mail, there are several foods that are perfectly safe to eat well after the best-before date has passed.
It’s important to note that “use-by” dates are not the same thing as “best-before” dates. With “use-by” dates, foods should not be consumed after this date as it could result in illness, such as food poisoning. However, even Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss says she regularly eats foods after the “best-before” date has passed.
What are some of the foods it is claimed are safe to eat after this date?
Biscuits, crisps (potato chips), honey and jam, eggs, milk, bread, canned goods, hard cheeses, uncooked pasta, and packaged salads are some of the products named. Many foods with a high salt content (such as crisps) or that are highly processed can be consumed up to three weeks after the best-before date. With milk and eggs, storing at a lower temperature can mean pasteurized milk that lasts 50% longer; eggs kept at temperatures below 41 F (5C) can be safe to eat for three to five weeks according to food scientists, as these low temperatures are capable of preventing growth of Salmonella enteritidis. Honey, jam, and other foods with a high sugar content can be eaten well past the “best-before” date. By storing bread in the freezer, it can last for months.
Meat is also mentioned in the article, and according to some may be eaten two days after the best-before date has passed, as long as it is refrigerated properly. Experts do say to smell the meat to ensure it hasn’t gone bad.
No doubt many shoppers notice “sell-by” dates on foods. These dates are not designed for consumers, but for store personnel in order to keep fresh foods on the shelves and remove those that could potentially be spoiled.
Very interesting article, considering many consumers in the U.S. would never dream of consuming certain foods (such as milk or meat) after the best-before date. Perhaps we are wasting an enormous amount of perfectly good food?
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