Expiration dates on food ?

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Smokin Okie

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I do think fresher will taste better, especially with spices and rubs. And heavily hopped beers deteriorate and are best to drink before the best by date ............ but there's this from the WSJ .

Here’s Something Past Its Expiration Date: the Expiration Date Itself

Consumers mistakenly think food older than its ‘best by’ label is unsafe, resulting in staggering waste



Although we call them expiration dates, most don’t actually claim anything is expiring or unsafe. Instead, the labels say “fresh until,” “display until,” “best when used by,” “better if used by,” “sell by,” “best by,” “enjoy by,” “best before” or—perhaps worst—provide a date with no explanation at all.

The dates originated as a coded system for manufacturers to communicate to retailers when to rotate stock. Consumers clamored for information on the freshness of food, and in the 1970s and 1980s consumer-facing dates became widespread, though never standardized.

Food manufacturers have tried, largely in vain, to explain that these are mostly general indicators of when food is at its peak quality. Most foods, properly stored, remain edible and safe long after their peak.
 
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I figured that out a long time ago. I hate to waste food.
For most products, I look at the date as a "we want you to buy another NOW!" date.
 
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It makes a large difference in beers.

My favorite ale is Dales Pale Ale, brewed by Oskar Blues in Colorado. Its a hoppy ale. While most ales have an IBU# around 30 , this beer comes in at 65, which is borderline IPA.

A couple years ago I bought a 6 pak from a small liquor store. The beer has a " brewed on " or " packaged on " date on the bottom of the cans. This beer was at least 6 months old.

But I found another that had that was only a month old.

The month old beer was clear, so clear I could read through it, while the older beer had gone opaque and had an off flavor. Hoppy beers, like all IPAs, need to be fresh.

Dales AGE 1.jpg
 
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I do think fresher will taste better, especially with spices and rubs. And heavily hopped beers deteriorate and are best to drink before the best buy date ............ but there's this from the WSJ .

Here’s Something Past Its Expiration Date: the Expiration Date Itself

Consumers mistakenly think food older than its ‘best by’ label is unsafe, resulting in staggering waste

I used to work in a grocery store. Best by dates are just the date the company legally has to say the food is best until. Generally dry goods are good for quite a while after that date, the company just can't guarantee that.
 
I was buying some prime ribeye at Sams last month. And I guy who worked in the butcher shop got my attention and showed me some choice ribeye that was marked down because it was on the " freeze by " date. He said there was nothing wrong with it and it would still last several days if I did not want to grill it soon. I bought it. Glad I did.
 
I was buying some prime ribeye at Sams last month. And I guy who worked in the butcher shop got my attention and showed me some choice ribeye that was marked down because it was on the " freeze by " date. He said there was nothing wrong with it and it would still last several days if I did not want to grill it soon. I bought it. Glad I did.
My freezers are likely often half filled with stuff like this.
 
My freezers are likely often half filled with stuff like this.
My only problem with them, was I planned to grill them the next day or possibly the day after, depending upon the weather. Employee told me not to worry.
 
Being a local food producer in the know, the expiry dates are only based on the package not being opened. ie milk will be good until such a date but once its been opened the expiry date is moot.
 
Best by dates are mostly worthless but don't confuse them with use by dates which are much more on point.

While we're at it, if you freeze meat at or below ZERO DEGREES F it's safe to consume technically for eternity, certainly for many years. Not true for the freezer in your kitchen though. The quality will go down over time, this is the same for foods that are significantly past their best by dates. They can lose nutrient, texture, and taste quality.
 
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My freezers are likely often half filled with stuff like this.
Same. I have a big circle of grocery stores in my town - at least a dozen that I can hit in about 3 hours. I buy chuck on sale at 3.99 or butt for .99 - everything else is either on clearance or I don't buy it. When my freezer gets low (say a months worth of beef) I hit that big circle of grocery stores around town then I hit the big circle around where I work, which is another 8 or so. I spend about 10-12$ in gas to do that, but I buy a LOT of beef for 2.99lb (ish) and sometimes lower. It all grinds good. I know per lb I never pay more than 3.99/lb (if I grind a chuck) but I bet my ytd avg on ground beef is closer to $3.25lb, and it's the finest ground beef on Earth when you do it yourself. I can't eat the ground stuff from grocery stores anymore. It turns my stomach.

2 best investments I've ever made, a grinder and a vac sealer.
 
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So I found a can of corned beef hash in an abandoned house (I dabble in real estate) about 2 weeks ago. There was a rusty can of corned beef hash sitting in the kitchen, expiration date rusted off. Just for fun, I took it outside and shot it with my 9mm loaded up with hot 124g jhp. What I saw inside was pretty funky (dry and crumbly, and canned CBH is NOT dry and crumbly) but it had no bad odor. It just smelled like CBH. I estimated that house had been empty for at least 15 years, there were oaks and pines growing in the driveway several inches in diameter.
 
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