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I seem to find a lot of stuff past it’s best before date in the pantry. I usually ignore it if it’s dry goods but where do others draw the line?


Posted by christial, 11th June 2015


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  • I agree it depends on the product. If it smells/looks okay, I will go ahead and use it. If there’s any chance it might make us ill, then I err on the side of caution and throw it out.


  • Some great tips on this thread!


  • If in doubt chuck it out otherwise go ahead


  • Depends on the product, dairy I don’t keep, herbs and spices usually 12 months, if I’m not sure I will open it and have a look or taste it. I usually like to rotate anyway and buy only when I need things as I used to through away so much


  • If it’s in tins I would use up to 6 months after the best before date and depending on other dry goods and how they’re sealed about 3-6 months for me


  • I am different with each item. Spices and herbs I keep forever!


  • I never use dairy past the use by date as it can start to go off a day or two before it starts to become obvious, enough to make you sick. In fact I had to dispose of a tub of yoghurt this morning because it was thick in small spot on the top and watery underneath. When I tasted it, it tasted fizzy. Once before when it tasted like that it made really ill, triggered other medical problems and I had to go to hospital to have IV fluids for a few hours. If you don’t want to use fresh meat soon after you take it home, pack it in meal size packs, put in freezer bags/airtight containers, label with date as well as contents and freeze. If you have a “Deep” Freezer – not just the one in your refrigerator – it will keep your food in good condition for longer.


  • I tend to look at what it is and what the recommended use by date is. My Mum wasn’t too bothered with use by dates and so long as something wasn’t obviously inedible, we tended to eat it. If I discover old cans or packs of things that are several years old (just happened the other week), I toss it. But if it’s only a few weeks/ months, then I’ll use it.

    I’m less likely to be so cavalier with fresh, refrigerated or frozen products though. I don’t want to poison myself or my family!


  • my kids are paranoid about use by dates, I pointed out that when I was growing up my parents relied on looks, sense, smell, taste. Any doubt the dog got it. Cans provided they haven’t started to rust should be okay. Never buy dented cans as they may have an air hole in them. Emergency shelters stock canned goods for their long shelf life. Dry goods such as flour and sugar provided they don’t have weevils in them are ok. youghurt is good for awhile past its use by date but may not taste as nice as fresh yoghurt. Meat that has been frozen is not as bright in colour as new meat. and may not taste as nice even though it is wihtin the recommended fridge shelf life. vegetables that are a little soft but still okay can be made into soups, used in stews.


  • I would go by the best before date on dairy and meat products.Dry foods I wouldn’t go past the date for too long! Maybe 1- weeks


  • This is a hard one – we aren’t precious, so I smell it and if it looks and smells ok, then it is good to eat!! Another friend of mine laughingly says rock salt has been in the ground for millions of years and we put a useby date on it!


  • depends on what it is.
    if i know its something that will be fine ie crackers or chips or anything like that ill just triple check it before eating it to make sure its fine.

    with frozen stuff as long as its thawed then eaten the same day thats fine but things from the fridge i tend to throw out if past its due date.


  • best before date is great especially for dairy and meat.


  • depends on what it is, give itthe smell test check for mould ect, if in doubt throw it out


  • Years ago nobody had ever heard of a use before or best before date! I think it is taken to the extreme sometimes. For example throwing out a large can of baby formula when it is 1 day over it’s best before date when it has not been opened is over the top in my book. There are heaps of dry foods that keep long after this type of dating! Dairy foods are a different kettle of fish although we have had whole milk 6 days after it’s use by date and we were fine. Your nose is also a great indicator of food being off! Not always. Some mouldy foods are fine eg gorgonzola and blue vein cheese. If you don’t overstock your pantry the problem will possibly not arise. I say that with tongue in cheek LOL!!!


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