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Should I eat this chicken? The real expiration date for food.

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posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 08:17 PM

The Real Expiration Date for Common Foods.

Expiration - This is an estimated date for when the item is expected to go bad and the consumer is expected to proceed with caution. Still, a surprisingly large amount of these can be expanded.

Sell by - That's for the retailer, not for you. It's about peak quality, like with flavor. It's for store display and, maddeningly, much of this gets tossed - prompting a "dumpster dive" revolution. Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't have to relegate themselves to a dumpster to get this perfectly good food? But in the dump it goes first.

Best if Used By/Before and Use By - Again, these refer to quality, not safety.

Pack or Born On - This is just the manufacturer's date stamp often found on canned goods and beer.

Guaranteed Fresh - This is mostly the baker's way of letting you know how long you can enjoy the baked good before it possibly goes stale. It doesn't mean it's harmful, but could be stale. Homemade is different.

I thought that fellow ATSers may benefit from this info.

Just the other day I was asking the Whole Foods dude about the date on some chicken. He simply said that it will start to "smell" if its not edible.

The site above links a few other sites which contain even more information on food.

It would seem that our food is safe to eat for quite a bit longer than we've been led to believe.

As Washington DC continues to devalue the dollar and prices continue to rise, more people will want to know how to get the most out of our most precious commodity: food.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 08:41 PM
I've always known this about milk (good for days after the expiration), but always worry about canned goods. The rest of it - if not filled with preservatives our senses tell us. I bought my son some chocolate pudding he never touched - realized it had expired but hadn't been opened. I hate wasting food - and this wasn't just leftovers but an unopened item. So I tried it and it tasted fine. It's amazing how we will use quick thinking strategies over contemplative processes and the good old senses. Thanks for the reminders and if you have thoughts on canned foods would like to hear them (not easy to smell test since filled with lots of junk).

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 08:41 PM

Guaranteed Fresh

Define Fresh.

Friend of mine used to work in the fish industry. He always told me to never take ANY notice of the word fresh, because its meaningless!
Fish that was landed was fresh in today! Then it was shipped to London where it was Fresh in today. Then it was delivered to outlets where it was...fresh in today.
The fish that didn't get shipped out was frozen at the very last minute before it went bad. It would then be collected and taken away to be turned into fish fingers etc, and the packaging of those fish fingers would read...Made with fresh fish!

Simple rule I use is this. If its meat fish or milk I dont touch it once its date is up. Most other food wont hurt if its past its date.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 08:50 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

Good info, basically common sense which is not so common it seems. It's a shame they don't have a "Best Before Date" on politicians, but I expect that date would be the day they take office ;-)

Cheers - Dave

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 09:09 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

It's for store display and, maddeningly, much of this gets tossed - prompting a "dumpster dive" revolution.

One day I looked into a 30 foot "Tall Boy" dumpster behind… (a well known grocery chain).

It was dark and usually they don't set such large dumpsters behind their store so I thought, cool… maybe they are scrapping some shelving or plumbing or something and I can recycle it.

As I crested the top and played my flashlight I squinted to make out what it was I was looking at. The box was half-filled with dead, rotting bird carcasses of every type they sell. Turkeys, chickens, game hens---

Must have been tons of rotting flesh. The weird thing is they were all out of their wrap. I was frozen there bug eyed trying to make sense of it when a voice called out, "I would't go in there". It was a worker on the loading dock.

"Don't worry, I won't."

I just had to ask WTF-- and he was nice enough to explain. When the birds from all the stores in the area are past date they bring them there and dump them into a single container for feed or composting. Each store has to unwrap and deliver the birds to a central location and then the dumpster is hauled away.

How often do they do this, I asked.

All the time, was the reply.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 10:17 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

Well when my milk carton date comes I get rid of it. I know you can sometimes stretch it a few days more but I have had far too many bad experiences of taking sour gulps.

It just ain't worth it IMO. Not for that. lol

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 10:31 PM
I try to rotate my food stores so they aren't too old. Most my stores are still within the dates on the can. I have found acid foods taste best when used within six months after the best by date and will use base foods up to a year after the date. We do use older foods than that but we find that the taste is better within these limits.

It is very important to listen to the can when you open it, smell the food, and dump the food into a bowl and check the can before using food. Then I take a little taste. I got a can of tomatoes one time that was well within the date and inside was some kind of greenish black fuzzy gross. We started dumping all can goods into a bowl and looking through it after that, the wife is the one who saw this, she could have ruined the lasagna. Buying before hand and sitting on it gives you time to see if there are any recalls that occur. We had to throw out about five peanut butters and some other can goods so far because of recalls. Two cans of tuna in rotation also got tossed. It doesn't pay to start bringing them back to the store.

There are two different processes used, some cans don't have expiration dates. These use the hot vacuum packing method and they last longer. They are not required to be dated.

Smell, and look at any food that is canned or bottled. Make sure the lid on a can does not go down instead of up when you break the seal. If it has pressure in it it will hiss also. I have thrown away cangoods that did that before, it happens to some cangoods even with dates that are within the best buy time. Things can happen so always be observant. Just because a can is bad doesn't mean the company is a bad company. Things like this happens.

It is surprising how many people still don't even look at dates. It is also strange that people do not research what these dates mean and throw out everything beyond the dates without investigating it.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

There was a similar thread not too long ago. Few months. Wish I could remember it. Some decent info.

I'm a vegetarian so I don't have input on the meat aspect.

Expiration dates however I do have experience in. I lived in a 'hippy commune' for a few years. Or as we called it a co-op. Dumpster diving was a regular practice. I was quite put off at first won't lie
They sustained themselves almost exclusively from it! Well after all my exposure to it I learned two things 1) expiration dates can and should be stretched for most things 2) businesses throw away a LOT of perfectly good stuff. We are a very wasteful nation [USA, and I assume others].

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 01:45 AM
We breed chickens by the millions, raise them under horrible conditions, feed them garbage, slaughter them and then... throw them away by the metric ton because of some bureaucratic regulations.

This country is a sick, sick place.

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