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Old 12-28-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
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Expiration dates

Help me my dear cooking friends!!!

I'm at my parents house and I can't believe the stuff they have in the fridge that is expired and they say its ok to eat!

Example:

Yogurt that expired in September 2007!!!
Cheese that expired in June 2007!!!!!!!
Olive oil in the cabinet that expired in 2006!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please...oh please...tell me this is BAD!? I made my Dad throw out the yogurt but my Step Mom refused to toss the olive oil! What can I tell them to make them understand it's not good to eat expired products?

I know that some things a week or two after the date are not going to make you sick, but I assume most things have an expiration date for a reason.

Thank you in advance for any and all info!!! This is driving me bananas!

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Old 12-28-2007, 11:05 PM   #2
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The olive oil is likely not going to hurt you. If it smells rancid don't use it, but otherwise it should be fine. In the case of the olive oil, the date is more about the taste quality.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:10 PM   #3
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Well, like most things, when they go bad you know it. Some stuff can hold up well past the printed sell by date, others go before the sell by date. A lot of this comes basically from how the product is stored and handled.

Oil, can go rancid, but if it is airtight, and OIL ONLY(no herbs/garlic/other organics) I see no reason to toss it. As for the yogurt, when in doubt toss it out.

Old habits are hard to break. If said folks are keen on keeping things past there prime, I am sure they have years of experience in knowing when something is really bad, or passable for them.


Here is some useful info that might help:

Expiration Dates

Expiration, Use-by, and Sell-by Date Information - Home Cooking
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:39 AM   #4
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I use expiration dates as a guide only. Things go bad before then and some things keep well after the date. If the yoghurt was unopened, I would open it and use it if it appeared to still be in good condition but would not store once open. If it was already opened, then it's a goner - but then you would be able to see it was dead anyway.

Cheese - subject to what it looks and smells like, I would taste it and see. Cheddar keeps well past the expiry date usually.

Oil keep until it is no good.

Expiration dates are guides in as much they are anticipated to last as long as stated - and should - given the correct storage conditions are maintained. My fridge is set to super cold so things will last longer. The expiration date does not mean that everything should be thrown out once that date is past. As to how long after the date a product will be reliable until will depend on the item concerned and its storage and handling conditions.

The expiration date is as much a protection factor for the producer as the consumer. In some cases, more so. Sight, smell, feel, taste, and in some cases, sound (when you hear something bubbling in your fridge, it is not good!!) are what you really need to depend on.
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:22 AM   #5
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cheese will "mature" so the taste will alter, but if it smells ok and there`s no visible signs of mold or drying out, put it on a Pizza :)
I buy the bags of mozzeralla that are in it`s own liquid, and often keep them for Months past its sell by data in the fridge, as long at there`s no excess pressure in the bag or leakage it`s perfectly fine!
it`s just a bit more crumbly when you grate it.
again with olive oil, smell Rules!
as for the yogurt well it`s likely on its way to becoming cheese now!
if the container/carton isn`t bloated then it`s all down to how you like it :)
personally I don`t like yogurt at the best of times so I would deep 6 it anyway :)

there`s also a Difference between a "Best before" date and a "Use By" date.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:12 AM   #6
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If the cheese does not have mold on it, particularly if it is a hard cheese, it should be fine.

As for the oil, I just use it and would not worry about unless it doesn't look or smell bad. OK, the quality, as has been said, may deteriorate, but it should be safe.

We recently found a carton of sour cream that had somehow been ignored in our fridge that had expired three months ago. It had not been open and was fine. The yogurt might have been OK.

Sorry you are not getting much support here, but I think your parents are doing just fine.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
If the cheese does not have mold on it, particularly if it is a hard cheese, it should be fine.
If it's a hard cheese, I'd just cut the mold off and serve it. If it's a processed cheese, I'd toss it. and if it's a really soft or creamy cheese, sometimes the mold means "toss," and sometimes it means "scrape off and eat." You just have to use your best judgment.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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The yogurt I would toss. If the cheese is a hard cheese then I would visually inspect it and then smell it. If it passes both those tests then I would have no problem tasting it. Soft cheeses I would not bother with. Those would go in the trash.

The oil is probably fine. Quality might not be what it once was, but it should not be bad. Well that is if it was not opened. If it was opened than taste a little bit. You will know if it went rancid.

Expiration dates on a lot of things are just a guide. They do a couple of things. One is that they give you an idea of when the quality will be at its best. They other thing they do is encourage you to replace an item that is expired so the company makes more $$$.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:39 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the replies. It's not that I was looking to tell them they were wrong, I just didn't want to see them get sick from something.

All good info here!! :)
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
They other thing they do is encourage you to replace an item that is expired so the company makes more $$$.
that`s a good point too, I never considered it from That angle.
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