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Old 09-21-2015, 12:00 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by iamcliff View Post
The Himalayan pink salt picture is funny, haha!

I don't know what it is, but I've got some paranoia about eating food past the date. My wife thinks I'm crazy.
Cliff, I don't want to hurt your feelings. But I do believe you just might be just a bit tetched. Your wife may be onto something. Only the dates on meat and dairy need to be heeded to. Either buy food each day that you are going to cook that day, or eat each meal out. But then you won't know how long the restaurant has had their food on hand.

On second thought, if you have reached the paranoia stage, it just may be too late.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:37 PM   #32
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The best advice I learned in Home Ec was, "When in doubt, throw it out."

It's a good idea to watch the dates and yes, many things are ok after the date (as I found out with the soup). However, last year I opened a can of Condensed Milk to make cookies. It was past the date by only a month and the color wasn't as light as I had recalled. I called the manufacturer (the number was on the can for questions) and they were extremely adamant that it should NOT be used after the date and told me to throw it out. So it depends on the product. That's why I asked about the soup. The company was closed for the day and I turned to all of you. And, again, thanks to everyone, the tuna casserole was wonderful, just like Mom use to make!
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:43 PM   #33
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Naturally the company is going to tell you to throw it out. They don't want any legal liability for telling you to use it. You could get sick from something completely different at the same time, but correlation does not mean causation.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Naturally the company is going to tell you to throw it out. They don't want any legal liability for telling you to use it. You could get sick from something completely different at the same time, but correlation does not mean causation.
I was thinking something similar.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:05 PM   #35
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No offense intended to anyone, but. I really don't like the "When in doubt, throw it out." rule. I think it causes a lot of food to be thrown out that's perfectly fine to use.

A home cook selects an item to use in a recipe and checks the date. It's a little past due so it gets smelled, sniffed and maybe even slightly tasted. He/she is uncertain. Did it smell a little off? Not sure, it might just be my imagination. But, "When in doubt, throw it out.", and into the trash/down the drain it goes.

As we have discussed here, those product dates don't mean, "...it will kill you, whatever you do, don't even open the package." It may suggest there is some flavor loss or it's just there to accommodate state and federal laws.

Oh, there are several dates we have to deal with. Sell by Date. Really? How long can I keep it at home after you sell it to me? Best By Date. What happens the day after? Does the cream cheese suddenly go from white to fuzzy green? Then there are the dates with no labels. Those are the Russian Roulette dates. Your guess is as good as mine.

Rant over. YMMV.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:43 PM   #36
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" It may suggest there is some flavor loss or it's just there to accommodate state and federal laws. "

can anyone cite a Federal law requiring food product dating?

can anyone cite the state laws requiring food product dating?

people are running about screaming ever so loudly about we're wasting 40% of our food -
(((don't go doing any fact checking or fact/data challenging, you'll be disappointed)))

and these people are at the same time unable to research what these terms mean?

hopefully someone will win the White House that will by Executive Order require a federal license to post on the internet.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:00 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
" It may suggest there is some flavor loss or it's just there to accommodate state and federal laws. "

can anyone cite a Federal law requiring food product dating?

can anyone cite the state laws requiring food product dating?

people are running about screaming ever so loudly about we're wasting 40% of our food -
(((don't go doing any fact checking or fact/data challenging, you'll be disappointed)))

and these people are at the same time unable to research what these terms mean?

hopefully someone will win the White House that will by Executive Order require a federal license to post on the internet.
From Food Safety Education at the USDA:

Quote:
Is dating required by federal law?

Except for infant formula (see below), product dating is not generally required by Federal regulations. However, if a calendar date is used, it must express both the month and day of the month (and the year, in the case of shelf-stable and frozen products). If a calendar date is shown, immediately adjacent to the date must be a phrase explaining the meaning of that date such as "sell-by" or "use before."

There is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating in the United States. Although dating of some foods is required by more than 20 states, there are areas of the country where much of the food supply has some type of open date and other areas where almost no food is dated.

What types of food are dated?

Open dating is found primarily on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. "Closed" or "coded" dating might appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food.

Types of Dates

- "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
- "Best if Used By (or Before)" date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- "Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
- "Closed or coded dates" are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.

Safety After Date Expires

Except for "use-by" dates, product dates don't always pertain to home storage and use after purchase. "Use-by" dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates. Even if the date expires during home storage, a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly. See the accompanying refrigerator charts for storage times of dated products. If product has a "use-by" date, follow that date. If product has a "sell-by" date or no date, cook or freeze the product according to the times on the chart below.

Foods can develop an off odor, flavor or appearance due to spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such characteristics, you should not use it for quality reasons.

If foods are mishandled, however, foodborne bacteria can grow and, if pathogens are present, cause foodborne illness before or after the date on the package. For example, if hot dogs are taken to a picnic and left out several hours, they will not be safe if used thereafter, even if the date hasn't expired.

Other examples of potential mishandling are products that have been: defrosted at room temperature more than two hours; cross contaminated; or handled by people who don't practice good sanitation. Make sure to follow the handling and preparation instructions on the label to ensure top quality and safety.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:09 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
...can anyone cite a Federal law requiring food product dating?

can anyone cite the state laws requiring food product dating?..
There are no federal food product dating requirements

Many states do have requirements: See page 15: http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/dating-game-report.pdf
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:11 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoodieFanatic View Post
The best advice I learned in Home Ec was, "When in doubt, throw it out."

It's a good idea to watch the dates and yes, many things are ok after the date (as I found out with the soup). However, last year I opened a can of Condensed Milk to make cookies. It was past the date by only a month and the color wasn't as light as I had recalled. I called the manufacturer (the number was on the can for questions) and they were extremely adamant that it should NOT be used after the date and told me to throw it out. So it depends on the product. That's why I asked about the soup. The company was closed for the day and I turned to all of you. And, again, thanks to everyone, the tuna casserole was wonderful, just like Mom use to make!
Just to put your mind at ease about the Condensed Milk, I regularly use it long past the date, although I'm not saying you should. Naturally, the company wants you to buy another can. I don't bake very often but every Christmas time I get inspired, and then don't do it. My pantry always has an old can and yes, it's not the same color, but if the baking mood should ever hit me, I use it.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:18 PM   #40
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There are no federal food product dating requirements

that would be an oops.
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