Can You Really Rely On Expiration Dates Of Certain Food Products?

Discussion in 'Food Storage - Canning/Freezing/Butchering/Prep' started by m33kuh, Jul 7, 2017.

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  1. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    I always wondered if those product descriptions specially those on expirations, if they are really reliable.
    Sometimes we try to prepare and store some bottled or canned goods at our shelves just in case.
    What if the food is days or weeks past the expiration date? Would you still eat it? What if you can't really tell if it's already spoiled?
     
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    We cycle our food stores so nothing ever reaches its expiry date. I have heard that tinned goods are okay past the use by or expiry date, but personally I would not trust it. Feed it to the chooks.
    Keith.
     
  3. PedroP

    PedroP Active Member
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    Honestly, i think that expiration dates are more of a "Guideline" rather than a certain thing. I have eaten things past expiration date before and will most likely continue to do so (As long it tastes fine of course). Mostly it's an insurance policy to prevent the company from being sued if the item goes bad and someone consumes it. Also, we have to consider that in a survival situation we might not have that much of a choice.
     
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  4. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist
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    Simple answer is yes they are safe with a caveat.

    http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydi...-eat-past-expiration-date-20140318-story.html

    "The dates solely indicate freshness, and are used by manufacturers to convey when the product is at its peak. That means the food does not expire in the sense of becoming inedible."

    Let common sense prevail.
    Oh! Common sense isn't so common is it?
    That isn't addressed to anyone here of course.
    If you are here you ain't dumb at all and have lots of sense.
    It's the snowflakes that are ignorant.
     
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  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    expiry dates are more for the supermarkets so they don't get sued for selling old food, I don't bother with dates much, wife usually gets the cans with the longest dates but as we rotate our cans they never get anywhere near that date anyway.
     
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  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Yes is my answer to this thread. Expiration dates, provided it is not altered, is true to its estimate. However, I admit that we don't gamble our health with the expiration. With canned goods, we never buy if the expiration date is just a few months, it should be at least a year. For chocolates and candies, 2 months is our guiding rate so we have at least a month for storing it. And for bread and pastries, 3 days is the most because after 3 days, the bread is already spoiled.
     
  7. Koala

    Koala Well-Known Member
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    You can 100% trust the expiration dates. Here we actually have a law that if the food gets spoiled before the expiration date, and you can ''prove'' it, you get a full refund. I only experienced a spoilt food before the expiration date ran out ONCE. We bought one of those packs of toast where you have like 10-12 slices in the bag and once we opened it the toast was already rotten on the inside. We took it back to the shop and they gave us a refund.

    But in general, especially the dates on the canned products can be trusted. Even if it goes over the expiration date, in the large majority of cases the food will not spoil. Why? because they always tend to set the date a tiny bit before the actual spoiling process would even begin.
     
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  8. zeedollar

    zeedollar New Member
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    Expiry date can be trusted but not in all cases, there are some food with last longer that others so expect some to get spoilt before the expiry date and some food could still be consumed even after the stated expiry date has passed. Personally i just avoid any food after the expiry date.
     
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  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    most expiry dates are years ahead of when most people would use them, if people stick to rotating their cans when they buy new ones then this problem will never happen.
     
  10. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    I see. The ones you put in first, are the same ones you pull out. I've read about that somewhere here, first in first out. I just don't trust the expiration dates though because as some of you said, some food tend to spoil even before it's expiration date. :/
     
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  11. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member
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    I usually adhere with expiry dates. I believe that there is probably some sort of standard for the shelf life each canned food group and that is how the producers are able to determine a probable expiry date. On the other hand, I have no capability to determine otherwise so I will have to just go with whatever date that has been prescribed.
     
  12. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    I tend to do this sometimes when I see a food that is past it's expiration date and still tastes good.
    Although some food tastes good even if they are already spoiled.
     
  13. WildSpirit

    WildSpirit Active Member
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    The expiration dates are always a important information to be observed :), however, I don't think there can be a "blind trust" in most of them. I think we must always use good judgment (vision, smell, touch and knowledge about the product for example :D) to avoid possible problems.
     
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  14. PedroP

    PedroP Active Member
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    Yeah man I mean most products read "Best before X" yes? So if consumed after that it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be bad, only that won't be as good as before. If everyone thought the same way I bet we could avoid a lot of waste. Think of how many people we could feed with that.
     
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  15. ToTang45

    ToTang45 Expert Member
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    Almost everything had an individual test that you can do on it to see if it's still good,a and ignore dates.
    They really do mean very little especially when you sometimes see food go off (bread moldy, for instance) before the date.

    When you have something on hand that you're worried about, just look up how to tell if it's okay and use your better judgement.
     
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  16. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    Right? But we can't blame other people (and me as well for sure) since we don't keep track of those expiration dates. Unless they have OCD or something, then they will be obliged to list down their stored foods and their corresponding expiration dates.
     
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  17. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    Food won't go off just because someone put a date on the tin. There was a time that tins didn't come with a expiry date. Unfortunately people are still throwing away perfectly good food just because of a date printed on the can.
     
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  18. texsun54

    texsun54 Member
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    Some things are more perishable than others. For some items it is more of a freshness issue and they put the date on there so that you experience their best quality. Some dates are more for marketing so that you will purchase more. If items are refrigerated then I let the date be a guideline if the item is unopened, if it is opened you can examine and determine if it is fit to consume or not and opened items may go bad before the date on the packaging. Canned and dry packaged goods and frozen items it is more about quality than whether it is edible or not. In a survival scenario I am not going to pay much attention the date, and will examine the food before preparing...... in every day life I try to avoid processed foods, especially ones that would endure a long shelf life.
     
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  19. Neiltarquin

    Neiltarquin Member
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    Expiration dates of preseved foods are highly reliable. It was not just placed on an item just to show that they are following guidelines on how food packaging works. Thorough research and studies was provided to this method to have a longer shelf life for their products. Some would even be edible even if it's expiration has alredy long passed.
     
  20. Scarlet

    Scarlet Member
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    I have experienced that expiration date is not reliable sometimes because sometimes even if they put the date of expiration, it tasted different already meaning it's spoiled before the expiration date. My point of view is it's only a guideline but not an accurate one.
     
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  21. Neiltarquin

    Neiltarquin Member
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    That doesn't prove that the product was already spoiled before the actual expiration date. It can be caused by unsanitized packaging or the product was contaminated.
     
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  22. Robin Roberts Jungle

    Robin Roberts Jungle Member
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    As someone that grew up in a family that taught us the value of the dollar, I can say with complete certainty that expiration dates are usually meaningless unless the food is perishable, and even then, if the food is refrigerated properly, you can use it past its expiration date. There are even stores that sell discounted expired food, and you'll frequently see them on store shelves. People also misinterpret the sell-by date as the expiration date. The sell-by-date just means that the store has to sell it by that time. It has nothing to do with expiration. I have even drunk milk past the expiration date, and I was all right.
     
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  23. zackdsilvis

    zackdsilvis New Member
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    I don't know I've heard stories for food being expired for years and it way fine. I personally wouldn't eat food past expired date unless I had to though.
     
  24. zackdsilvis

    zackdsilvis New Member
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    I remember on the show "how it's made" they were talking about canning food and there was the snippet where it said this guy ate something out of a can that was 30 years old. Crazy, but I could believe it.
     
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  25. m33kuh

    m33kuh Active Member
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    Same here. I even do that up until now. As long as the smell is not bad and the taste is still good, I would still eat it. Probably heat it or cook it together with other foods just to make use of it instead of throwing it away.
     
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  26. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    i see we still have sheeple that wont eat canned food past an expiry date, in the days before expiry dates we ate canned food and nobody ever got ill, most food poisoning is because someone didn't cook it right or got it mixed up with raw food.
    if everybody stuck to rotating their cans, new to the back-old to the front eat that first, then no one would have a problem, but as usual "you can take a horse to water, but you cant make it drink".
     
    m33kuh likes this.
  27. overcast

    overcast Member
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    I think sometimes it's safe to rely on those dates. But we all know that some of the time they don't print it. And instead they use sticker system and that way those dates can be wrong. So I am just thinking that packaging wise the system has to be clean. I usually avoid anything that is say close to one month of expiry. That product is gone in that case. But then again it's just my assumption.
     
  28. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    canned food is okay for several years past its best before date, I have eaten canned and uncanned food long past its expiry date with no ill effects, I do not understand this "5 minutes before expiry date its fine- 5 minutes after its expiry date it will kill you" philosophy, its a load of BS! why do you think we have noses, tongues and taste buds?
    just recently we've heard of people throwing out perfectly good potatoes because they have sprouted, absolutely crazy! eat them or plant them but don't throw them out.
    I despair sometimes, these are the same people that some think will survive post SHTF? not with that attitude they wont!!!
     
  29. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    At end of season, you put back some taters for their eyes. I remember the root cellars; potato eyes sprouting as spring approached. Entire shelves dedicated. When planting, cut out the eyes plus some meat around them and plant them in the row mounds for the new season. Digging taters out'a red clay, oh joy. "Boy, watch that spadin fork! You done spiked two dang good'ns!" Gotta dig under them = more clay to bust. And the sun is baking you. Just this week, was/am wearing two back braces. The skin of my back is a study in actinic kerotoses touching each other. At least we had a rototiller for the ground busting part. Then it would beat you to death when you ran into the limestone.

    fd4cddd08c3ce0c1c656f26b94509ec5.jpeg
    fd4cddd08c3ce0c1c656f26b94509ec5.jpeg

    Or you can stack up worn-out tires (three or four high), fill the middle with loamy soil, and plant your taters in there. Come harvest, kick over the tire stacks to fetch your taters. This is the lazy-man's way. Me, I ain't never ever raisin' taters again. Somebody else's turn. Pulled my time. That's over. No sir, not my job.
     
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  30. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    I've worked industry. Dealt with issues regarding FDA regulations. These standards are strict and believe you me, food factories are far cleaner than people's kitchens. The can exp. dates are true and the food will last to such and then some. Been there, seen this, not up for debate. Inside such a place, you'll wear your hair net, beard net, and boot covers even when dealing with machinery, i.e. away from the food materials.

    People will tell you not to purchase dented / damaged cans. That's true. Don't open a can that is swollen or in any way, puffed. True. Heavily corroded cans may not be good. True.

    Otherwise, don't worry if you are at or a tad past expiration date. I eat canned foods throughout the week and have zero worries. This is what I take to work.
     
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  31. Dallas845

    Dallas845 New Member
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    The expiration date is not the only sign you should look for! Look at this article https://zamonthly.org/2019/01/09/prepper-pro-tip-beware-of-botulism/
     
  32. Caribou

    Caribou Well-Known Member
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    If the can/jar is good the food inside is fine to eat. Expiration dates are put there by the attorneys, that want to limit liability, and the marketers, that want you to throw your food away and buy more from them.

    This is strictly about canned goods like meat and vegetables. If the can is good the contents are fine. Inspect the outside of the can and look for bulges and rust pitting. These are the reasons to toss food unopened. If a can is bulging, at the ends, it indicates botulism don't eat it.

    I have personally eaten canned salmon that I canned twenty years previously. It got lost on the back of a bottom shelf and forgotten. There have been documented cases of canned goods over 100 years old being tested and found to have maintained most of their food value. Sorry, I lost that link when an old computer died. Here is one about some 64 year old lard.
    https://www.delish.com/food/news/a39005/64-year-old-lard-edible/

    Honey from the pyramids is still good. Wheat from the pyramids sprouted and was eaten. Wheat will outlast your great grandkids but flour not so much. Sugar will be fine forever. Pasta is only good for 30 years or so.

    Bread- If you can't tell when bread is mouldy go ask your mother, she knows. Old bread either gets toasted or cubed up, placed in a roasting pan above the fridge, and used in bread pudding or stuffing.

    Milk- If you were born with a nose you can tell when milk is bad. Milk that has recently turned or has just started to turn is excellent for pancakes, biscuits, and other baking, yum.

    Medication- Capsules and tablets are probably good for 10 to 15 years after their expiration dates. The Army did some testing when expiration dates first started appearing. Liquids perhaps a year or two. Injectables I'd, personally, give an extra 3-6 months. the more solid the longer they last.

    Some of you already know this. Those that believe in expiry dates are unlikely to be convinced. This post could be a book and is already too long.
     
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  33. Weedygarden

    Weedygarden Active Member
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    I looked for the information relative to the Army study, and found this story. https://www.npr.org/sections/health...ug-expiration-date-may-be-more-myth-than-fact
     
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  34. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Expert Member
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