Food labels can be a bit of minefield but they can impart important information and they certainly help with foods you should never eat past their expiry date! The expiry date (which is different to the best before or use before date) is something you should pay attention to. Some foods are perfectly safe to eat after their expiry date, others you shouldn’t take such liberties with. (Although some people have cast iron stomachs and can remain unaffected by bacteria that can cause tummy upsets and food poisoning.) Take note of these foods you should never eat after their expiry date. (Or eat at your own risk!)
Table of contents:
- 1. Mixed Greens
- 2. Eggs
- 3. Alfalfa Sprouts
- 4. Deli Meat
- 5. Oysters
- 6. Raw Ground Beef
- 7. Shrimp
- 8. Chicken
- 9. Soft Cheese
1 Mixed Greens
Mixed greens are one of the foods you should never eat past their expiry date. The packaged leafy greens might look harmless however, there will be bacteria and pathogens hidden. Mixed greens usually wilt and grow a slimy coat when they have gone off, though some appear to be fresh long after they actually are. Stay safe and avoid eating this food passed the expiry by date.
Eggs are full of great nutrients and are a fantastic source of protein. They are a cheap and diverse food that literally goes with anything, making them a popular choice. However, if your eggs are on the turn or have expired then think twice before you eat them. Out of date eggs can cause abdominal pains, gas, diarrhea and food poisoning. Not sure if your eggs are off? Try this trick. Gently drop your egg in a glass of water; if it sinks and turns on its side then it is fresh, if it floats stay well clear of it.
3 Alfalfa Sprouts
Another one of the foods you should never eat past their expiry date is alfalfa sprouts. Sure, they’re healthy and packed with good stuff, but once they’ve gone bad they become infested with bacteria. To maintain your alfalfa sprouts’ freshness, keep them in an airtight bag in the refrigerator. Make sure you eat them before they go out of date, usually within 2-3 days of purchase.
4 Deli Meat
Deli meat is a delicious treat, not so great when it goes bad though. E.coli and Listeria bacteria breed in prepared meats. As a rule consume your deli meat within three days of buying it. It is an absolute no go to eat deli meat that is over a week old.
It is no surprise that oysters are one of the foods that you should never eat past their expiry date. Oysters are at their tastiest and best when they are fresh. Once they have turned they will smell disgusting and be very slimy. They can even be deadly. V. vulnificus is bacteria that builds up in gone-off oysters and can cause a serious form of food poisoning that affects the bloodstream. This can cause the body to go into septic shock and is hard to treat. If you’re in doubt about whether your oysters are fresh, avoid them at all costs. It is better to be safe than sorry.
6 Raw Ground Beef
Raw ground beef passed its expiry date is a serious no go. We’ve all heard about E.coli bacteria. Did you know that it actually comes from cattle intestines? If you process and prepare the meat safely then you should be fine, however if you fail to follow the guidelines you could be in for some serious tummy troubles. To avoid getting ill from raw ground beef, always make sure that you cook it thoroughly and never eat it past its expiry date.
Shrimp is one of those foods that are prone to bacterial contamination. The bacteria begins to build as soon as the shellfish is removed from the sea. If you are having shrimp at a party then be careful as it could have been out of the fridge for too long. If the shrimp doesn’t feel cold, don’t eat it.
If chicken isn’t cooked and handled properly then it can be a serious health. Whatever the trend is to consume red meats rare, it doesn’t apply to white meats. Undercooked chicken can cause you to get sick, as can out of date chicken. Be careful not to contaminate your chicken with other meats too. Under no circumstances should you store cooked chicken and raw chicken together, or raw chicken and beef next to each other.
9 Soft Cheese
Soft cheeses, such as brie and feta can cause listeria food poisoning. If you see any trace of mold on the cheese don’t just cut it off and assume it will be fine. This might be okay with hard cheese but not with the soft type. Store your soft cheese wrapped up in an airtight bag and keep it in the refrigerator.
I know some people can get away with eating food past its expiration date but if you are prone to tummy troubles or just want to be safer than sorry it’s best avoided. If in doubt, chuck it out. Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of dodgy food?
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