Believe it or not, there are a lot of foods that can be consumed quietly even if they are dated. That is to say, in spite of the fact that the expiration date has been fulfilled and since then some days, weeks or even months have elapsed. Basically, the vast majority are those foods and food products that have what is known as Preferential use date , and not expiration. But what are they? Is it safe, then, to consume them even if the expiration date or the preferred consumption date has been met?
There are certain foods on which we have to take special care, and to maintain certain precautions regarding the optimal date of consumption. They are, for the most part, those that usually have a certain expiration date, which means that within that period said food can be consumed safely. However, once past the date, can become a real danger to health , especially if it's a perishable food . Therefore, we must pay special attention to foods such as meats and fresh fish, dairy, eggs and vegetables .
In the particular case of fresh meats and fish bought in the fish market or in the butcher shop, it is evident that they will not have an expiration date printed on the package. Therefore, we must take some precaution and consume them always before 2 days in the case of fish, and 3 in the case of meat.
The same does not occur with foods that have a preferential consumption date. This date indicates the time in which the food product will keep well its different organoleptic qualities (that is, smell, texture, taste, etc.), so that the date of consumption will not pose a health risk. It could only happen that their properties are altered, and their texture or flavor have changed a bit.
What foods can be eaten expired and without danger?
As we indicated at the beginning, in reality there is a wide diversity of foods that can be eaten safely, without danger and without risks, although we note in their labeling that they have been dated. Obviously, as we also said, we must differentiate between those with an expiration date and those with a preferred consumption date. A) Yes, If there is an expiration date, it must always be respected , and discard the food when it has been fulfilled. While, in the case of preferential consumption, we can consume it even if days or weeks have passed.
And what are those foods? Take note:
- Yoghurts: Unlike other dairy products, yoghurts have a preferential consumption date since March 2014. Since the living ferments present in the composition of the yogurt act and acidify it, if they have been well refrigerated their consumption after the date is not dangerous. It can only happen that flavor are somewhat more acidic.
- Jams and preserves: Because of its high sugar content, the growth of pathogens in them is not so easy, especially if they remain well preserved. The fruit jams usually last between 3 to 6 months, and preserves can last up to the year.
- Honey: The same thing happens with jams. Due to its high sugar content, it is usually kept in perfect condition even if months have passed without having consumed it. It can only happen that it has crystallized. This does not mean that it is in poor condition. To return it to its liquid state you only have to introduce the honey jar (provided it is glass) in the oven a few minutes, or heat it in a water bath.
- Canned fish: Provided they are well stored, they can be consumed safely.
- Other foods: As long as the storage is adequate, there are other foods that can be consumed past the date. It is the case of dried pasta, legumes and nuts. And, also, some less healthy products such as chips, buns and cookies, and soft drinks.
Food that never expires, never
Although the taste or aroma of some foods may be affected and get worse or change when the preferential use date has passed, there are others that never expire. In fact, you may be surprised to discover that they even have an expiration or preferential use date on their packaging.
This is the case of cooking salt and sugar, in addition to vinegar, alcoholic beverages or confectionery products.