The "use by" date

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacSamurai, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. MacSamurai macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    #1
    ok so nowadays most food has an expiry date but,how much does this date matter?Is there a range after that date in which food is still good?Does anyone use the "it still tastes good" policy,or do people actually chuck their food after it?
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    For me it depends on what kind of food it is and how long past the expiration date it is. For example, I always throw out milk that is past its date.
     
  3. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
  4. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #4
    Same here, there is nothing worse than lumpy milk... :eek:
     
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #5
    :eek:

    I'll often eat stuff that really probably wouldn't be considered edible by many.

    Way I was taught is that you just don't waste food. My parents' fridge is packed with sauces and jars of stuff-- some of which expired well over three years ago. Heh. Don't even get me started on the canned and bottled beverages you can find at the house. :D :eek:
     
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #6
    ^^^That's scary to do devilot.

    I believe that the only things that last beyond the date are eggs and prescriptions. Bread usually goes stale and sauces/jams/anything jarred starts to become prone to fungi (although it's usually after a while).

    In either case, I've started to be really anal about throwing stuff out because of something I saw on 20/20 a while back. Essentially it said that stuff does grow in the food that you can't see but that can be harmful to you (even when refrigerated). :eek:
     
  7. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #7
    Meh, it's not so bad. devilot is right though, you shouldn't waste food.

    I usually smell/taste a wee bit. Then you know if it's edible.
     
  8. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #8
    Yup. Definite fair game by many. :D

    So? It'll still be fine once ya toast it! :D Or you can super bake/ toast 'em for croutons. Teehee.

    *nods* 'S what my AP bio teacher told me years ago. Even showed us some slides. Yummmmmay. ;)

    The other thing is, a lot of that stuff can be pretty readily dealt with by our bodies, and I don't use or eat stuff for sure if it looks or smells wrong. But sometimes it's just the taste that is "odd" not quite bad, and I'll probably still go for it. Hee.

    Ha! Great minds!
     
  9. elcid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #9
    I employ the sight/smell rule. If it looks good, and smells good, its good. Things like tortillas in a sealed baggie dont really have an expiration in my mind. Things start getting past a month or two and even if they seem alright I will toss em.

    My milk expired 2 days ago but it was delish in my cereal today :)
     
  10. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    As a follow-up...my milk has a "sell by" date. How long after the sell by date should I be safe before pitching it?
     
  11. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #11
    I mean, we're gonna cook them right? :p:D
    :p True enough! Homemade croutons are teh awesome™:cool:
    That's true. I use this to logically betray the 5-second rule. :p
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #12
    i go by sight/smell. if it looks good i'll try it. then if it tastes good i'll eat it. if not out it goes. simple as that.
     
  13. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #13
    Same here.

    What gets me is that while my wife and her mother are very "strict" about throwing out food past its expiration date, they will keep old prescriptions for years and years past their expiration dates. :D
     
  14. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #14
    If it's me... about 20 minutes. :D But thats only because, as I've mentioned, I've had a few lumpy milk experiences. Which, FYI, are not nice.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    They put "sell by" on your milk? Hmmm that's tough. I'll use the reasonable time test for this one (just made it up now in fact! :p).

    If you buy 1 quart, which is 4 cups, assume that the average adult will have at minimum 1 cup per day (via cereal, in coffee/tea/other drinks, etc). Thus, a quart of milk should last at least 4 days after the date.

    A gallon on the other hand should factor in how large the family is. If we assume that there are 3 people drinking the milk from a gallon, 16/3= 5.3333 or just about 5 days.

    The moral of the story is, drink your milk before six days have passed. :p
     
  16. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #16
    See, meds I actively throw out if expired. They have active ingredients and I don't personally know enough to know whether or not 1) it could do harm or 2) be absolutely useless and I could keep taking it not knowing why I see no improvement.

    :eek: Once I was running late and had some in my coffee.. took a sip later and nearly gagged. Not a great way to start an already bad day. :eek:
     
  17. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #17
    I work in QC/R&D for a food manufacturer, so I can give you a little bit of info about our products (Cocktail Mixers - Finest Call, Master Of Mixes, and Coco Real brands).

    Most of our products have a "Best Before" date that is exactly 2 years after the month of manufacture. Some products have a 1-year date, and some have an 18-month date.

    The date is determined by the information we receive from our suppliers regarding our raw materials. Some ingredients have a short shelf-life by themselves, but once they are combined with preservatives, water, and HFCS, the shelf-life increases. Other ingredients, can last years without issue.

    Our dates are basically for our distributors, as indicators for stock rotation and re-ordering.
     
  18. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #18
    My rule on expired meds goes something like: "Narcotic pain reliever? KEEP. Anything else? Toss." :D
     
  19. blairwillis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    #19
    Perhaps they get better with age, like a fine wine. :D
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #20
    Depends what it is....if it's dry, non perishable food, I'll usually use it. Dairy products such as milk and cheese usually get tossed if they're past the use by date. Same with meat (unless it's frozen obviously). Things like bread and chips don't get tossed until they're stale or moldy
     
  21. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #21
    In the UK there is a "Sell By", "Use By" and "Best Before"
    "Sell by" is a guideline to the store. It's legal to sell food past this point, but it will almost always be reduced.
    "Best Before" is a guideline to the consumer. Used on canned stuff that lasts years.
    "Use by" is used on perishables like milk that really go off. It is illegal to sell food past this date. Not advisable to consume past this either.*

    I usually go for the smell/sight test. My wife is more strict about that and tends to go by dates.

    *I bought something recently that was past it's use by date when it was sold. I looked up this information to make a complaint. I'm not really a food safety anorak.
     
  22. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #22
    I've drank soy milk 8 months after the sell by date. didn't smell bad or anything. I didn't get sick either, but it didn't taste really good like it does new, just kinda good.
     
  23. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #23
    I will not even consider eating food that's even vaguely not fresh. First off, if it's past the expiration date, out it goes. Second, although no one else in the house does it, I always write the date I opened (or put into a container) food in the refrigerator. If it's a bag of shredded cheese, I don't care if the expiration is 10 years in the future, it's goes out after less than a week - few people seem to get that opening a container starts a bacterial countdown regardless of what date's printed on the container.

    In fact, if I don't know it's fresh, I toss it.

    Leftovers generally have about a day before they're doomed, but that depends on the item.

    I say, if you don't want to waste food, don't buy as much, and eat it until it's gone!

    :)

    And if I were to see devilot's refrigerator, I suspect nothing would remain in it once I was done, not even the ice.
     
  24. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #24
    The ice is rancid. *retch* I hate our ice. We don't use filtered water so the ice tastes horrible and worse? The freezer/ ice-maker is messed up so there's insane freezer burn all over the place and the ice/water dispenser is totally broken. :eek:

    I hate it.
     
  25. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #25
    You have tons of bottled water (probably from the early 1990's). Get some ice cube trays and cover 'em with plastic wrap! :)
     

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