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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Use By? Reply with quote

So, I have some sausages in my fridge that are five days past their use-by date, some eggs that are pushing on a bit a few days past too. I wonder though... My mother always just sniffs things to see if they're okay to use and we never got sick from them, as far as I know anyway.

So I put 'use by' into google...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1024879/The-best-challenge---One-man-boldly-goes-use-dates-food.html

Is the use by date actually a useful guideline? And if it is to who? The consumer or the industry?

I'm frying the sausages as I write. I think I may have eggs for breakfast. Wink
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YatesOfYore
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the product really. I'm always eating sour cream WAY past it's expiry date - if it's not moldy, it's still good... if you ask me anyhow.

So for the most part, I'm with your mom. Give it a good smell, use some common sense, and go from there Wink



Interesting article, btw!
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thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eggs don't go off quickly, they're hermetically sealed before they come out of the hen. However, they do get a little more difficult to cook as the proteins degrade - they don't hold their shape so well, and will be very difficult to bake with. I've eaten eggs perfectly safely a month or more after the use-by.

The sausages, however, are quite likely to be off by that long after the use-by - this is why I tend to freeze them Wink But smell is generally a good guideline to work by.

Suffice it to say, I'm generally a LOT warier about raw meat products than anything else.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto. Give it the smell test, be wary of meats (especially chicken). And if you're not entirely certain, make sure it's cooked thoroughly, even overdone a bit. Precious few bugs can survive a thorough cooking.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I'm generally wary of milk, meet, and medicine when it comes to expiration dates. The eggs should be fine, I think, though I would use them up quickly. The meat might be problematic, but since it's only a week past, it SHOULD be fine - I would just make sure you cook it extremely well.
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daydreamer_girl



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I heard of people back in the day using sour meat and they would just use lots of salts and stuff to mask the meat's "gone bad" taste.

If they survived back in the unconvenient days, then so should you. Wink
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, Emma, they didn't survive. They all died by the time they were fifty.

Just because they did back then does mean we should, now that we know better.

Generally you have roughly a week past the sell-by date, but more than five days is pushing it. If it looks off, don't use it. Milk can last a week, plus a smell-test. Meat never lasts long enough. We keep cheese and eat it until it goes moldy, at which point we throw it out. Eggs we never watch for, but they don't tend to last very long either. Fruits and veggies go bad quickly, which is a shame, but there you go.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a lot of them also died of nasty intestinal diseases as children. The ones who didn't had iron plated immune systems from routine exposure to every kind of pathogen you can think of, which most of us don't. In Colorado you can't even drink out of mountain streams without filtering/purifying the water, due to giardia and cryptosporidium. So -- if it smells off, chuck it in the trash.

EDIT: ninja'd! XD

And I'd like to add that the trope about everybody dying young in the past is inaccurate. The average lifespan was much shorter, yes; but that average age includes all those people who died as children under the age of 5. If you made it to five, you stood a pretty good chance of reaching your biblical threescore and ten.

Occasionally someone would live much longer, as for example that one 14th century Welsh landowner who walked into court at the age of 107 to testify in an ongoing case and began his testimony with my sons and I were out riding last week .... The guy was a determined and cussed litigator, and was the terror of his whole county for most of a century. He finally passed away at 108, and the entire region heaved a sigh of relief.
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Maeniel



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
Precious few bugs can survive a thorough cooking.


The germs themselves will die, but sometimes their toxins are denature at much higher temperatures than we tend to cook things. So even though the germs are dead, the stuff they secrete can still be deadly!

And I generally go by the smell test. It it doesn't smell like it should (even if it's not bad...just DIFFERENT) I toss it. Smile
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thespaceinvader



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And even then, a thorough cooking, with regards to bacteria, is 120 degrees C (the temperature at which hospital equipment is sterilised). Most things only get up to 60 or 70 when you cook them. Though that is enough to kill of the more common food poisoning organisms.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand down to Tinalles's much greater knowledge and story-telling ability. Whatever he says.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
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