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Foods not to be consumed after the expiry date

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Introduction

We are inclined to buy products in generous quantities, only to later discover that we have forgotten about them, and find them already expired at the bottom of the refrigerator. In many cases, especially when the wording: “best before…” appears on the label of a given food, eating these foods does not cause any adverse consequences for the body, but it is the type of food itself, and its nature. to deteriorate more or less quickly, and to develop bacteria and mold, to tell us how it is essential to behave.

Per avoid wasting food, we are inclined to consume food anyway, even if a few days have passed before the expiry date. But it is not always a good thing to overlook this date. Generally speaking, it is preferable to avoid consuming expired foods, especially if they are fresh or processed products.

Expiry date: what does it mean?

Packaged food products on the market have a label on which an expiry date is indicated, used to inform the consumer by when they should eat a certain food. The dates are usually not related to food spoilage, but rather they indicate how long the food keeps its taste and consistency unchanged and even the ability to make a dish successful (as happens with yeast).

Foods not to be consumed after the expiry date

There are foods, in most cases fresh and without preservatives, which should not be consumed after the expiry date due to the risk of incurring unpleasant surprises for the body. They are, for example:

  1. cured meat: cured meats sliced ​​fresh, or in an opened bag placed in the refrigerator, should be consumed within a maximum of 3-5 days. Packaged sausages have an expiry date, while those cut at the delicatessen counter obviously do not. If you notice any bad odors or changes in color, do not consume them. In fact, cured meats can carry a bacterium, Listeria, which causes fever and muscle pain;
  2. soft cheeses:camember, brie, especially if they are made with pasteurized milk, must be consumed on the expiry date or, at most, within 5/7 days after purchase;
  3. fresh meat: steaks, minced meat, fillets or roasts. Most meat purchased from your local butcher and wrapped at the counter must be eaten fresh, within a couple of days. The risk of contamination and development of Salmonella, Escherichia Coli, and other bacteria causing food-borne illnesses. They must, therefore, be consumed or frozen before expiry.
  4. fruit juices: if they are expired they may also contain bacteria
  5. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries: they are foods rich in fiber and antioxidants, but they must be eaten within the expiry date because they could develop cyclospora, a parasite that causes intoxication which manifests itself with diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal swelling and flu symptoms;
  6. sprouts: never consume sprouts beyond the expiry date because often, due to unsuitable temperatures and humidity, they are prone to contamination and the growth of bacteria, such as Salmonella. Children, the elderly and pregnant women should not consume them;
  7. green leafy vegetables: Even if washed several times, they have a tendency to carry bacteria such as Escherichia Coli. Consume only if the stem and leaves are perfectly intact, considering that they are often sold without an expiry date, as they are fresh products.

Beware of infections from contaminated foods.

That's why it's best not to put hot foods in the fridge.

Foods that “may pass” their expiration date

Certain foods, depending on how they are stored, can “exceed” their expiry date for safe and optimal consumption also from a qualitative point of view. THE dry and waterless foods or long-life, for example, are those that deteriorate the least, and therefore those that can be consumed even after a month from expiry. They include: biscuits, pasta, rice, cereals and canned products. The packages must in any case be intact, not have suffered dents or holes, and have been stored in a dry and cool place.

Among the foods that can be consumed even after the expiry date we find:

  • Milk, for example, can be consumed even 4 days after opening, as long as it is stored in the refrigerator in the rear part, where the temperature is generally colder;
  • Eggs are good for 3-5 days after the expiration date;
  • Rice or pasta are edible for up to a year in the pantry. Once cooked and seasoned (pasta or risotto) they can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Once opened, canned fruit and legumes should be consumed within a maximum of 4 days if stored in the refrigerator.

Interpret the label

When we want to be sure of what we are about to consume or cook, we must read the label carefully. The words tell us “how much life a food still has” to be good and safe. In fact, some foods bear the words: “to be consumed by“, while others “Best before“. The first gives the consumer a more precise indication. Foods bearing the second wording give the consumer a wider margin of time, beyond which, perhaps, the food is still considered safe for the body but may have lost a little freshness (less fragrant, soft, of a different consistency) or its flavor being less tasty (tasteless, insipid).

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