Terminalcoffee discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > do expiration dates mean anything?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 109 (109 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I remember a while back Sally asked about whether or not she should eat old food...don't remember the details, I think it had something to do with orange juice left on the counter, but I thought of that thread when I saw this article on expiration dates.


What do you think? Ignore expiration dates? Cleave to them? What's lurking in back of your disgusting refrigerators, people? Confess.

message 2: by Rannie (new)

Rannie well, I think if we're all going to live post-apocalypse in Boulder we'll have to learn to eat food that's slightly past its sale date. I take them more as suggestions, especially in the case of preserved food.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I usually give a few days after an expiration date, as long as it still passes the smell and mold tests. I figure they're being conservative since they'll be in trouble if they kill anybody.

That said, our fridge is always full of things that are way past their prime. It's the result of living with multiple people who all do their own shopping. I don't like to throw other people's food out, so if someone forgot about their yogurt or their leftovers, it will likely be in there a while before being jettisoned.

message 4: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie I toss 3 days before the expiry date. Yes I'm one of those people who believe that I might die of some god awful Illness if I eat expired food.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments If it's dairy, I do a smell/taste test, and if it still tastes okay, I keep it. Like cream past the due date. I'm not going to throw that out if it still tastes sweet.
On the other hand, I've had cartons of milk that were sour long BEFORE the due date, and those get poured straight down the sink.

message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) The smell/taste test works for me. Some things, though, you just don't know until it's too late, like ancient boxes of corn muffin mix, for example.

message 7: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I just used a cup of sour cream in my muffins (because they would be baked, so what harm would it cause) but then threw out the rest of the carton because it was all curdled and weird looking A MONTH BEFORE THE "SELL BY" DATE.
And remember my yogurt fiasco of early Jan?
Nope, sell by/expiration dates mean nothing.

message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments when someone ask me to smell something because they "think it's bad" i am like "no thank you irene. i totally believe you and yes i think it is bad. do not open it or put it anywhere near my nose"

you kiddin' me? if you think it's bad, throw it out. you do not need a second opinion on rancidness

message 9: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) It's an arbitrary date established by law.

message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments no larry. it is law. on like 1 past midnight on that date it is done. finished. kaput

message 11: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Ah.

message 12: by Rannie (new)

Rannie Mary wrote: "The smell/taste test works for me. Some things, though, you just don't know until it's too late, like ancient boxes of corn muffin mix, for example."
If it's crawling, it's history. I have plenty of protein in my diet - I don't care if half the world call insects food.

message 13: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11549 comments When my wife and I married, she went through my cupboard and tossed all the cans of soup that were expired. A few of them were more than a year (or two) past the date. Hey, it's condensed soup, stored in an airtight can -- what could go wrong?

message 14: by Félix (last edited Feb 24, 2010 04:35PM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) I think as long as a can is not rusted, leaking, or bulging, it's safe to eat.

I mean the contents. Not the actual can.

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) Phil wrote: "When my wife and I married, she went through my cupboard and tossed all the cans of soup that were expired. A few of them were more than a year (or two) past the date. Hey, it's condensed soup, s..."

Trust me, you do NOT want to eat expired soup.

message 16: by Sally, la reina (last edited Mar 04, 2010 03:22PM) (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I thought of you all when I read this earlier today:

I love it when we predict the news here at TC.

The kitchn.com article "do expiration dates really matter?"

message 17: by Her (new)

Her Majesty (hermajesty) | 122 comments I don't get how does water expires?

message 18: by Her (new)

Her Majesty (hermajesty) | 122 comments .. Bottled water? I'm sure it does, I'm just not getting the chemystery of it

message 19: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I would guess that the bottles start breaking down & leeching at some point, especially since you don't know the conditions/temperatures they've been kept in.

Today is World Water Day, fyi.

Here's an eye opener:

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Good point.

message 21: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
Phil wrote: "When my wife and I married, she went through my cupboard and tossed all the cans of soup that were expired. A few of them were more than a year (or two) past the date. Hey, it's condensed soup, s..."

They really could've used those in The Road.

message 22: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
In a lot of situations I ignore expiration dates. With milk and dairy, the smell test. With OJ, the smell test and is it fizzy? Has the OJ container expanded 1/2 inch due to gassy build-up? With eggs, I go way past the date and I've never gotten sick. Of course, I cook them thoroughly. Grated parmesan cheese from the deli - I've noticed that goes bad pretty quickly.

I don't ignore the expiration dates on those soups and broths that come in the cardboard boxes - those have gone nasty on me before.

I have a bunch of dried pasta that will soon be past its expiry and I'm sure I will still eat it.

I had milk expire early last week and I was furious!

My dad once had several years old margarine in his fridge, and several years old unopened salad dressing in his pantry. I begged him not to eat it. He wasn't convinced, so I threw it out when his back was turned.

message 23: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I once found some frozen cod date-stamped 1987 in my mom's freezer. I found it last summer.


message 24: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
That rocks. Um, I actually have a cornish game hen in my freezer....it's got to be at least 18 mos. old. I wonder if it's still good....

message 25: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Well, I'm weird about dairy products. They already smell funny to me, so if they're near the due date I just toss them and open the new one (I always have a spare!) If it's bread and it isn't hard or moldy, I'll eat it. If it's in a can, I can't say I've ever looked for an expiration date on a can. I only recently cleared out my baking cupboard of all expired cake mixes etc., because my mother-in-law emailed me some article about how some dude died from eating pancakes from an expired mix. Apparently the yeast in there grows some mold and IF you happen to be allergic to that mold, it can kill you. Well, I didn't want to find out if honey or I were allergic. Plus, it's easier to just tell her I did it.

On the funny side, my brother-in-law, like Kevin, won't ever try anything that might be questionable. His mother was legally blind and could not read expiry dates, so if it was questionable she would just pour a big glass of milk and give it to him or one of his brothers and then ask them after if it tasted okay...Oh!

message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments If I tell Zu something is moldy - even as a joke - she will utterly refuse to eat it. Even if it's a bread we watched bake and have just taken out of the oven.

message 27: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I had a friend who was like that with hair. If I found a hair in my food, she couldn't eat hers. Even if we cooked it and it was my own, or hers...she would stop and refuse to eat. Heh.

message 28: by Barb (last edited Sep 17, 2010 09:57AM) (new)

Barb I'm a bit paranoid about food going bad, so I follow best before dates religiously, and left-overs are tossed (or ignored for a while, then tossed) after one day in the fridge. Drives my mother crazy - lol - when we go to her house we refuse to drink her water, and everything in the fridge gets a nose wrinkle and a "how long has this been here?".
Even for things like cake mixes that don't have expiry dates, if I can't remember how long they've been in my pantry, they gotta go.

message 29: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Barb, cake mixes do have expiry dates. I know, right? I never knew! cake mixes, muffins, brownies, pancake mix, biscuits etc. I'll try and find the article my mother-in-law sent about the dead guy. Actually, I think it was an email that I checked on Snopes.com

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Leftovers are tossed after one day, Barb?
I'd go broke!

message 32: by Barb (new)

Barb Yep. Most of the time we don't even bother keeping it to begin with, because we know it's just going to die in the fridge.

message 33: by R.C. (last edited Sep 17, 2010 11:54AM) (new)

R.C. (rc_kinkaid) | 56 comments On a recent afternoon at work I found myself hungry and without a wallet. So I ventured to my car, ransacked various compartments, and discovered a small bag of potato chips (most likely from Panera) with an expiration date of 10/13/06.

Now, 4 years is a long time, but I figured it was safe. Potato chips are choked full of all preservatives anyways. There was a pungent smell wafting from the bag as I opened it, but I chalked that up to acrid, stale air. The chips color looked normal enough and I took a bite. Worst. Chip. Ever.

In my zeal for food, I failed to consider that potato chips are cooked in oil and that oil can turn rancid; especially in conditions of extreme heat, like the inside of a car or going 4 years beyond the best used by date.

I say that certain things you can ignore; like pain meds, candy, flour, and the like. But anything involving dairy, oil, or other liquids that aren't alcohol, should probably be avoided.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) I'll usually go 2 to 3 days on leftovers. My husband won't touch anything over 1 day old, though.

message 35: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
I'm eating cooked dried pasta (whole wheat) that expired 3/2010 and it tastes fine.

I'll eat 2-3 day old leftovers too. If they're good leftovers, naturally, they won't last that long...

I took some OTC antihistamine for my pollen allergy yesterday, expired 6/09, and they seemed to work.

message 36: by Pat (new)

Pat (patb37) Her wrote: "I don't get how does water expires?"

Have you ever opened a bottle of water that smelled a bit musty? Thats what happens with 'expired' water.
Most bottled water brands are not boiled before bottling. A bottle will have whatever natural bacteria is in the water. The bacteria count in a sealed bottle can continue to rise.
I doubt it can hurt you, but the taste is less then optimum.

message 37: by Lori (new)

Lori And also the plastics used in bottles slowly leach into the water, and after a year, what you're drinking is in fact not healthy at all. I don't use any plastics when microwaving.

Yesterday morning I noticed I had left the roast pork fried rice out from the night before. After internal debate, not as long as you'd think tho, I popped into the fridge for dinner last night.

Still alive and kicking here!

Frozen meats are fine even after 2 years except they might not taste as good.

Most expiration dates are a scam!

message 38: by R.C. (new)

R.C. (rc_kinkaid) | 56 comments Lori wrote: "Most expiration dates are a scam!"

I don't think they are a scam.

A lot of food products have a "Best used by" date so that the consumer has a clear understanding for expectations. If you open up a pack of Oreo's that expired 2 years ago and they are stale, you probably should call and complain. Storing meat in the freezer for more than a month or so can cause the taste to diminish due to loss of moisture. I found a book by Tyler Florence did a great job of recommending how to preparing meats for the freezer.

OTC meds are a bit trickier, but things also evaporate or change, causing potency to altered. I've been taking Extra Strength Tylenol that expire over a year ago without issue, but I have no idea if it works better or worse at making headaches go away.

message 39: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I've decided I really don't want to know my expiration date.

message 40: by Lori (new)

Lori Neither do I, Larry.

message 41: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Is it printed somewhere on the bottom?

message 42: by Brittomart (new)

Brittomart What is the bottom?

message 43: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) My bottom?

message 44: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) That's what mirrors are for.

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Have you found it yet?

message 46: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) No, Gail. As I said, I don't want to know.

message 47: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
Larry wrote: "That's what mirrors are for."

Precisely, just ask Madonna.

message 48: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 23885 comments Mod
I don't think I've ever eaten meat left unrefrigerated overnight, but I did once make this fabulous linguine with cream sauce, peas, and nutmeg, forgot about it sitting on the counter, ate some the next day, and got sick. It still tasted great, it just made me sick.

message 49: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17319 comments Mod
I've been known to leave a pot of chicken and dumplings or other such soup/stew on the stove all night and refrigerated it the next morning and I'm still alive.

message 50: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) Soups and stews always taste better the next day.

Expiration dates are no longer a factor at my house. One of my girlfriend's destressing activities has become digging through my fridge and throwing things away that are more than a month old. Odd, considering I found some mustard in her grandparents' fridge from 2001...

« previous 1 3
back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.