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Best before dates poll
delirium happy
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Purely to satisfy my curiosity, after a conversation of a week or so ago.

Poll #418296 Best before dates

Which of the following best describes how much credence you give to best before/expiration dates on food?

I treat them as gospel, and never eat anything out of date
4(6.5%)
I mostly stay within them, but don't mind going over them occasionally
19(30.6%)
I use them as a guideline only, but consider them useful
24(38.7%)
I use them as a very loose guideline, and ignore them entirely on some products
13(21.0%)
I never pay any attention to them, and just judge edibility by the look, feel or smell of the food
2(3.2%)
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I don't know if I picked the best option for what I do or not. I pay attention to them when shopping, and will pick the item with the latest expiration date I can find. After I have the products, I don't really look at the dates all that much.

The exception being dairy products...it's hard enough for me to drink milk as it is (ok, to be honest I never drink milk). But I get completely grossed out at the thought of dairy products going bad, and probably won't touch them if I notice that the expiration date has passed.

Me too. Milk's the worst for me though. I wont go near milk when it's near its best by. I go through spurts with milk. Sometimes I like, sometimes I'm not fussed, so sometimes it can just sit there for a while.

*shudders at thought of off milk*

Note to self: use milk against dana. mwhaha.

I go through spurts with milk.

There's something snarky and offcolor to say here, but I'm not awake enough. I'll check back later. ;)

Ditto, on both points. And eggs. Not dairy, but - well. It's Jan. 14th, and I won't touch the eggs or half and half that expire tomorrow. As with you, Dana, even the thought of spoilt dairy products - enough to send me running. I also hardly ever/never drink milk. I like whipped cream, though, and I use half and half in my coffee (Josh and Corey use 1% milk in their coffee; I don't know how. Well, I do it in a pinch, when I'm there, but... I get half and half here, and Josh uses that when he's here. So...).

I'm also rather (read: very) mindful of dates on raw meat and fish, unless they're in the freezer. Cooked meat/fish, I tend to go by look/smell unless it has a date on it, like pre-cooked chicken, or something like that.

Um... 'half and half'? Half milk, presumably, but half of what else?

I said "very loose", but I do treat them as very nearly gospel for products that are very prone to rapid decay - dairy, mostly. I'll only go a day over for those, and that's only if I got them from store fridge to home fridge within a very short timeframe. Sometimes I'll chuck them before expiry. But cereal-based things - pasta, breakfast cereal, etc? I'll disregard those by years.

That pretty much sums up my attitude towards the dates. I'll add to that stuff that is in the deepfreeze, I pretty much consider anything in there in stasis and good for whenever. Frozen sausgages 3 and a bit years past their use by date did me no harm.

Depends on the item eg. I'm paranoid about milk going off, but I don't have the same concerns about meat - if it's been in my freezer for six months then I'm quite happy to eat it (I also trust my ability to smell gone offness in meat before I'm anywhere close to eating it).

Tins/packets etc I'm generally not too bothered by the dates (though I've a pack of sultanas dated 2002 that I really must throw out - 'cos that's a bit too long for stuff like that).

Part of my OCD is a fear that the moment I put something in the fridge, it will rot. Whenever I buy perishables, I eat them right away. I'll buy the smallest amount of milk possible, use however much i need for cooking and mix the rest with chocolate sauce for chocolate milk. if i put it in the fridge for a moment, i'll never drink it again.

Generally the stuff I eat dies visibly when it's off (sometimes before the 'best before' date); the only thing I get which I am a bit edgy about is meat and meat products, because I am fairly sure those can grow quite bad invisible nasties.

Best before dates poll

I find aftershave best before dates... :)

Seriously, I figure that supermarkets give themselves a margin so they don't get sued if the food goes off before the sell-by-date, so it's probably ok after that for a while, but I always worry. When the expirery is a few days I tend to believe them.

I know at least one person who neither pays attention to expiration date nor bothers to look at/smell the food before he eats it.

I never pay attention to expiry dates, but I have another food-related quirk; if prepared food has been out of refrigeration or off heat for more than about an hour, i will not eat it. the concept of leftovers makes me quail. i think it's from my years of food service while growing up.

hee. i'm the opposite. i avoid putting stuff in the fridge because it'll rot the second i put it in there and i know i won't eat something that's been in the fridge for more than a few minutes. so i leave stuff out. but i tend not to eat that either, after about six hours, but i don't put it in the fridge because then i really won't eat it. something that's been in the fridge six hours is surely rotten and will kill me if i eat it, but something that's been out is probably okay--it's been in eye view, if has grown claws and a backbone, i would've seen it.

so it kind of stays out until someone else puts it in the fridge (where it rots for a few months until someone takes it out and shoves it in my face so that I'll see that it's spoiled.) or until i heat up the water in my sink to try to wash it with it. but i only have 3 minutes hot water at a time in my sink and I'm weird about wanting to touch plates and know i'll never get it clean enough so it takes a lot of work to bother with it. but i can tell myself "just three minutes, then the water will be cold and you can take a break while waiting for it to heat up." and that works sometimes.

I leave things in the freezer far long than you're supposed to, provided it's not a crappy freezer known to not freeze very well or something. And milk doesn't get touched past the use by date, and sometimes the day before, depending on how it smells. Most things I'm flexible to a day or two, provided it looks and smells alright.

Best before, not deadly after, except on food that I'm completely incapable of determining the state of myself. (Yeast, for instance.)

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