Proper Use Of Expiry Dates For The Sake Of Food Safety.

It is a common food safety prejudice and some of us live by the date printed on the packages of our perishable goods. It has not expired yet, so it must be consumable even though the food smells a little off. Is that the right attitude to take when it comes to the products? How is the date printed on the plastic or paper even decided?

The ‘expiry date’ is only a recommendation that is placed by the supplier to indicate what they consider is the maximum time for which the product can be stored. It does not promise that the product in question will be consumable before the date printed.

The date printed on the packaging can change depending on the environment that the product is placed in. Heat, moisture and pressure are some of the many variables that can alter the ‘date’ printed on the packaging.

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There have been many times where I have completely disregarded the date printed on the packaging. Both before the date on the packaging and after. Even though the chips I was eating clearly stated that it was expired a month ago, it did not taste any different. So I ate it. I had the greatest fortune that I did not fall ill. I am not recommending everyone to follow my example, for I know I have a stronger immune system than most. However from my own experience, I know that expiry dates are only printed for the benefit of the company.

Application point after this news: do not solely rely on the expiry date on your consumable goods. Use it as a marker, but do not think just because the date has not passed that the food is still in good condition. When consuming perishable goods, you are better off using your five sense and you own judgment to decide whether the food is good to eat or not.

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