If you’re the type who ignores the dates stamped on food packaging, it’s high time that you stop the habit right now. Expiration dates or Best Before dates are very important when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of the food you eat.
Now it’s not exactly a big secret that there are food items that you can still consume even past expiration date. You can eat the food without having to worry about poisoning and other health problems. But there ARE food items that you should never try to eat when already expired. Forget about saving a few bucks; your health is not worth the risk. Here are the items that you should take note of:
1. Egg substitute
You have about 3 to 5 days to consume egg substitutes once you open them. Unopened, you have 10 days. Raw eggs actually have a longer shelf life; you can keep them for 5 weeks max if still in the shell.
2. Condiments in jars
Just because they are stored in jars doesn’t mean you can take your sweet time consuming them. Once you’ve broken the safety lid and opened the jar, the time will start ticking for its consumption. Bacteria can get into the food no matter how careful you are. If your sandwich spread has been sitting in your ref for a long time, check for weird smell, discoloration, or water floating on top, sure signs that you should toss the item in the trash.
3. Soft cheeses
Hard cheeses such as gouda or cheddar can last up to 6 months. Not so with soft ones such as goat cheese, cream cheese, or ricotta, which has 1 week max after opened. They are more more prone to molding and should be disposed once the expiration date has passed. You should actually throw it earlier than that if there are already signs of spoilage.
4. Cold-pressed juice
Raw juices do not undergo pasteurization like processed ones, making them more prone to bacteria. Make sure to consume raw juices in the next 48-72 hours.
5. Potato salad
Since potato salad is stored in jars like sandwich spreads, the vulnerability to bacteria is practically the same. Everytime you open the container to get servings, you expose the food to bacteria.
Just because deli meat is cold doesn’t mean it’s totally immune from bacteria. Deli meat is actually prone to a bacteria called Listeria. Make sure to consume your ham and turkey slices in 3 to 5 days to be safe. Pre-packaged meats will last longer but take note that once you open them, you only have until 5 days to eat it.
7. Fresh meat
Once you buy fresh meat from the store, it’s imperative that you cook or freeze it as soon as you get home. Fresh meat is a source of Salmonella and E.Coli, so it’s important to cook them at proper temperatures.
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