Can Expired Food Products Still be Consumed?
Most people will not consume food products that have passed expiration dates. But in fact, some countries recognize two types of expiration dates, which are best before and expired date. What’s the difference?
Rules on this vary in each country, but products that have passed the expiration date should never be released and sold.
While the differences between the two terms lies in the security level for consumption. Although there is no guarantee from the manufacturers or distributors, consumers still can decide whether or not the product can be used.
According to Betterhealth, the term ‘best before’ shows the limits where a product’s quality is still guaranteed. Quality and nutritional content will decrease after that date passed, but not necessarily harmful to health as long as the packaging is intact.
In order for it to still able to be used, these products must be stored in a certain way according to the instructions included. For instance should be stored in a cool, dry or protected from direct sunlight.
Because it is no longer guaranteed by the manufacturer, its valuation is only based on common sense or appearing from the outside. For example, if it is moldy or experience change in taste and color, then the product should not be consumed.
Meanwhile, the term ‘expired date’ or ‘use-by’ is used for products that cause direct health risks when it had passed the date indicated. It is usually listed on products that are unstable or not good in long-term storage, such as meat and certain types of cheese.
‘Expired date’ and ‘use-by’ is relatively a more strict limit than ‘best before’. With health and safety reasons, never eat food products that have passed the limit ‘expired date’ or ‘used-by’.
To be more safe, do not buy products that have passed expiration dates. Applicable regulations prohibit any person to sell food that has expired, either is is labeled with ‘best before’ or ‘expired date’.