The amount of times I’ve seen questions in various online forums recently about whether or not something is safe to eat has really got me thinking lately about Best Before and Use By dates.
It drives me mad when someone answers ‘sniff it and see’ to a question about whether out of date chicken is OK to eat because I would never serve food that’s past it’s use by date to anyone. I know I’m probably in the minority and most people would be OK with it as long as it looks and smells OK but I just couldn’t!
I still buy food in the reduced section at the supermarket though, I just freeze anything that is about to go past it’s use by date and defrost it when we’re ready to eat it.
I’ve tried to find a good explanation of the difference between Use By dates and Best Before dates and the best one I’ve found is here on the NHS website. Basically though, if a food has a use by date on it then it should not be eaten even if it looks and smells fine because there is still a chance that it could make you ill. This is why I’d never give my family food after the Use By date – I wouldn’t take any chances with their health.
A Best Before date is different though as it’s all about the quality of the food and they won’t make you ill if you eat them after the date given. After the Best Before date, the food may start to lose it’s flavour or texture. I’m happy to use best before dates on most things but I try to stick to it with things like herbs and spices as I’m using them to flavour food so I want them to be as flavourful as possible.
What do you think – do you stick to the dates or do you just sniff it and see?
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.