One of the questions asked at Deb’s recent talk at Saathi was about ‘Best Before’ dates.
Many of us are confused as to what ‘Best before’ actually means.
Do we have to bin anything beyond its best before date on grounds of safety?
We’ve discovered ‘Best before‘ dates are more about the fact that over time the texture and taste of food might change.
For example the food might fade in colour, change in texture or taste slightly different.
The ‘Use By‘ date, however is used on foods that could be unsafe to eat after that date such as meat, soft cheese and ready meals. Therefore the Use By dates should be adhered to for health and safety.
But back to those confusing ‘Best Before’ dates. As long as food is kept within dry, cool conditions, then it can be used well after that date. After all, it’s just a matter of personal taste as to when something has gone past its best!
Tins are a great example of foods that will last for years.
This week, Rachelle’s daughter ate a tin of 2006 mackerel and it tasted perfect!
Just to prove she doesn’t use her daughter for all the dangerous experiments in the house, Rachelle is currently making porridge for herself every morning with oats from 2012 and 6 months ‘out of date’ soya milk.
Biscuits might go soft, but once you dunk them in a cup of tea you won’t notice.
Jars of sauces / jams should be ok; just check for mould first
With grains such as flour, rice and pasta; keep a look out for weevils, but if they are clear of living creatures, then go ahead and eat (although you might find bread made with old flour doesn’t behave itself very well).
And do take caution with foods with oil in such as crisps – rancid oil really isn’t good for you. But your tastebuds will tell you because it tastes so, well, rancid!
We take a ‘common sense approach’ to foods past their ‘best before’ date here at Rubbish Diet HQ – after all, our grandparents never had best before dates; they relied on their senses!
So give something a good look over – look for mould or other signs of being past its peak.
If it’s looking good give it a sniff – does it smell fresh or decaying?
If it’s smelling fresh it’s time for a tentative lick!
Does it taste good? Chances are it’s fine.
Debs found the great reminder below over on the Money Saving Board. You can click on it to download as a pdf.
Do you eat foods that have gone past their ‘Best Before’ date?