Shelf-life terminology confusion?
Shelf-life terminology confusion?

Wasting food is a serious issue and many people throw away food every day because their expiration date has passed.

Of course, this seems like the clever thing to do, food poisoning is the last thing we want to worry about. But what if I told you that we might be wasting a lot of food that it is still safe for consumption?

First, you need to understand that the “sell by” date is not the same as the expiration date, and even so, many foods are still safe to consume after they have reached the expiration date. Sell by dates usually refer to the fact that a food won’t taste or look the greatest after a given amount of time, which doesn’t necessarily means that it is unsafe.

For example, canned goods usually have an expiration date set for within 1 and 4 years. Nonetheless, by keeping the cans stored in top notch condition in a cool and dark container they can be safe for consumption for up to 6 years.

If your eggs mark an expiration date but you want to make sure not to waste food, place the eggs in a container with water. If they’re spoiled, the bacteria inside, will produce a gas that will make them float. So, bottom line, if your eggs float, do NOT eat them.

Frozen foods can last forever unless their meats. Meat of any kind, even if it’s frozen won’t be safe for consumption after 9 to 12 months. If it’s cooked you should not eat it after the first 3 to 6 months. For more information regarding safe food storage times you can check out this chart.

For dry goods that have very little to no water content, the shelf life extends for as long as they don´t have an odd or foul smell. As for bread, if you keep it on the fridge or freezer, it will last ages. But either way, even if you keep it in the pantry, for as long as it has no mold, it is safe to consume.

If you want to know more about storage times and safe food consumption, you should contact Ken Kuscher calling at 561-703-7196 or 561-369-2622. With over 35 years of experience his expertise on food safety guarantees top quality training and valid certifications for food handlers. Don´t miss your chance of becoming a food safety professional.