Shelf life is the length of time that foods, beverages, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption. In some regions, a best before, use by or freshness date is required on packaged perishable foods. Shelf life is different from expiration date; the former relates to food quality, the latter to food safety. A product that has passed its shelf life might still be safe, but quality is no longer guaranteed.
Best before or best by dates appear on a wide range of frozen, dried, tinned and other foods. These dates are only advisory and refer to the quality of the product, in contrast with use by dates, which indicate that the product is no longer safe to consume after the specified date.
Generally, foods that have a use by date written on the packaging must not be eaten after the specified date. This is because such foods usually go bad quickly and may be injurious to health if spoiled.
Did you know?
Eggs are a special case, since they may contain salmonella, which multiplies over time; they should therefore not be eaten after the best before date, which is a maximum of 28 days after the eggs are laid. Eggs must be sold to the consumer within 21 days of laying; this means that they must be sold 7 days before the 'best before' date expires.
Every other month, I go through my all items in my kitchen & fridge. Yes, ALL perishable items, including soya sauce bottles, any form of sauces, dried items like Maggie mee packets, biscuits, nuts, medicines, etc. I know of a lot of people, who even keep bread in the freezer. Why go far? Both our parents do the same! Why? Why do you think that medications if kept in the refrigerator is okay to consume even after the expiry date? Have you ever stopped to think that there is a reason for the shelf life date? (Whatever name may be used for it).
Is it only people in Malaysia who do this or almost everywhere is the same? I know of people who still consume any drink or food which has just passed the shelf life date, claiming that it’s okay. No harm done. Yeah, maybe no harm done, but would it hurt to just throw that away and buy a new one instead?
I threw away a lot of things yesterday night. I was not active in my kitchen for almost one month plus due to the surgery, and yesterday I just had to give it a good sweep through of everything. I threw away Soda cans, Cream cheese packet, white all purpose flour, some nuts, biscuits, soy sauce bottles (although they were in the fridge), and a few more other things.
Yes, I am particular that way. Wasting money? Yeah, may be to you I am, but to my conscious mind, I’d rather buy new ones than risk consuming all those!
Oh and for some items that I don’t have the expiry date info, I still throw them away when I am doing my bi-monthly check.