Do you stick to "sell by dates"

@weemam (13377)
February 13, 2007 11:33am CST
We were talking as a family the other night as you do and my hubby and myself were telling stories of the olden days " as our grandchildren say ", we are talking about all the additives that are put in our foodstuffs to keep them fresh . My granddaughter asked us how we knew if food was "OFF" if we didn't have a sell by date on it , we had to explain that foods weren't prepacked you bought it by weight or per slice , WE said if you sniffed something and it smelled OK then you ate it , you tested eggs by seeing if the floated or not in watter I worked in a grocer shop and packed dry goods in brown paper bags , They thought it was really funny , I think life was a lot simpler then and a lot less food was wasted , do you trust sell by dates ? do you throw them out ?
8 people like this
28 responses
• United States
13 Feb 07
What I do is I check the "sell by date" and if it still looks and smells ok after that date, I will use it. If it doesn't, then I will throw it in the trash. There is a difference between a "sell by" date and a "best if used by" date. The sell by date just means it cannot be sold in the store after that date. It doesn't mean the item should not be eaten after that date. But a "best if used by" date means this item is no longer considered fresh if eaten after that date.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 07
Well I do go by it as it scares me, with so much Stuff that is now going round and that. But I do say if it doesn't smell of then I will use it, but most stuff I do throw away.
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@weemam (13377)
15 Feb 07
It makes you wary though doesn't it , we used to just go by the looks and smell , xx
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
14 Feb 07
I usually go by the date it sayd "best before" Sometimes the stores sell the stuff for half price (they have to) if the date is less than 3 days away and then I buy it but make sure i consume it before tha date passes. I once had something with the date passed and i got sick. donĀ“t know if it was because of it - but I do not dare to try again =)
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@weemam (13377)
14 Feb 07
Thanks for that I think I would have done the same too xx
• United States
14 Feb 07
Not really. I do the sniff, look, taste test to see if it's OK. Even back in the old days if something was off, you didn't throw it out, you used in in something. I have a recipe from my grand ma that calls for sour milk. The guy at the store gave me a weird look when i asked if they sold sour milk. So I bought a half gallon of whole milk and let it go "bad". It worked great. In fact I just finished off the last of my egg nog, that expired Jan 12th. It looked good, smelled good, and tasted very yummy.
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@weemam (13377)
14 Feb 07
well done you i hate anything going to waste xx
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
13 Feb 07
Oh yes life was a lot simpler in the good old days, we never had this problem that they have today even with medication it never had an expiry date on it so that you had to use to it all by that date, and it was ok to still use it after month and months later, I really hate the way they do it these days. They just want us to spend more money on everything, and they are not cheap like in the old golden years. No I do not trust these sell by dates, and I do not have to always throw it out.
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@weemam (13377)
13 Feb 07
Well done you kathy I am just the same , we were brought up not to waste food and it really pains me to see it wasted xx
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
14 Feb 07
I don't eat too many pre-packaged foods. But I NEVER use milk after the expiration date. Other than that, most food in our house is fresh produce, eggs, and meat. You can easily tell if any of those items are no longer good to eat - mold, discoloration, smellm texture - there are all sorts of cues that food has gone south and you shouldn't eat it. It's pretty common sense.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Feb 07
I used sell by dates as a guide line. My dad used to work in a grocery supply store. He said the sell by date was supposed to be a week before things go bad. We always do smell tests if things are past the date. We are wasting so much now days. I wish life were still simple.
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@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
14 Feb 07
Most of the time I don't. If it looks allright and smells allright then its ok. I'm really careful with uncooked meats in the fridge tho. And yes, I miss the olden days too. Things today are so hectic. I hate going shopping especially at the Walmarts Supercenter.
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• United States
14 Feb 07
Just use the smell test. If it smells fresh, and there's no mold- you should be fine. The only thing you want to be careful of is milk, but other than that your judgement should be fine. You're right, food waste has probably doubled since the 'sell by' date idea came around.
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• United States
14 Feb 07
Well it depends. If it says sell by and its been a few days and it say a dairy. I'd smell or taste it I guess. If thats okay, keep it. My sister had bread go bad and it had MOLD. She got it exchanged. THAT isnt right! Sometimes its just a freshness thing. They are trying to give you the best. However certain things like meats, & dairy I'd be careful.
@Babudom (47)
• India
14 Feb 07
It does make life more complicated - but it is important that this has become neccessary. It is good for us.
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@runsgame (2033)
• India
14 Feb 07
i agree to your point , if food was "OFF" we didn't have a sell by date on it, we had to explain that foods weren't prepacked . this is also a unique problem with every one
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• China
14 Feb 07
no , I never did that!!!!
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@padhukr (2267)
• India
14 Feb 07
this topic you have rised i dont have any idea to discuss this
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• United States
14 Feb 07
OH YES! I have more than learned my lesson by risking certain items after the date. So, the longest I go is 3 days after the date.
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@hoghoney (3749)
• United States
14 Feb 07
I always check out the sell dates on my food and I dont buy anything that is out dated. but now my boyfriend he will eat anything out dated or not hes crazy.
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@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
14 Feb 07
I do stick to sell by dates, especially on milk. Milk tastes awful even at the date of expiration. Once something expires, I throw it out otherwise I would probably get sick from it. I always look for an item that does not expire til later so I have a chance to eat or drink it before it goes bad.
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
14 Feb 07
It depends on if it has been out of the freezer for long, i usually give it the sniff test if its still has its color, but if it looks like its turning grey, or my hubby has left it out too long, then i usually toss it.
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• United States
14 Feb 07
Talking about the good old days, I remember when our children were young, one of them asked,"When are the good old days coming back?". Someone mentioned a time machine for our grandchildren to be able to go back for a day, I sometimes think I would like one so I could go back and stay. Oh yes, we were not talking so much just about the old days as we sell by dates. We do look at the dates and we buy a lot of things that we use quickly when the store puts them on clearance to get rid of them before the sell by date. As someone else pointed out, most products are still good for quite a while after that date, but the stores here are not allowed to sell it after that date. We have had a few items that had gone bad, but the stores have generally replaced the products if they went bad right away. They want to more the product, but the also want to keep our business. Naturally, we use the tried and true old method to be sure things are good. Isn't that why we have a nose?
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@kittyloki (140)
• United States
13 Feb 07
if something looks or smells bad I don't eat. I don't normally go by those dates.
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