Sustainable living doesn’t just mean eating consciously; it also means throwing away as little food as possible. Do you eat that last container of yogurt, even if it’s past the expiry date? How long can you keep canned goods? And can eating stale breakfast grains make you sick? You can find all the answers here!
Producers are legally obligated to put an expiry date on their products. This helps the consumer to know how long you can keep something and up to when you can eat something without getting sick. So, don’t throw food out too soon and check the date on the package first.
The expiry date can show up in two ways: “Best before” or “Use by”.
You can find this date mainly on products that keep longer, such as dry pasta, canned goods, jars, etc. The date shown is the date of ‘minimum shelf life’. This means that the manufacturer no longer guarantees the quality of the product after that date. The flavour, scent or colour may be different, but that doesn’t mean it will make you sick if you eat it. First and foremost, check if the packaging is still intact. Then taste or smell it to ensure it is still edible. If in doubt, throw it out!
This is the producer indicating the ‘latest date of consumption’. This is used for perishable foods, such as meat, fish, salads, ready-to-serve meals, fresh dairy, etc. These products are usually kept in the fridge. If the expiry date has been exceeded, you must not eat these products. They may be spoiled, even if you can’t always tell.
Are you taking care of our Earth too? Be sure to always check the expiry date before you throw anything out. Because by wasting less food you are also contributing!