You're thinking of the perfect meal to make for dinner as you stroll through the aisles of the grocery store. You try to envision the ingredients you already have in your refrigerator to ensure you don't buy what you don't need. Once you get home, you go to pour that yummy sauce into your stir fry, when you glance at the expiration date and notice it's past its due date. You smell it, you question if it smells normal, then you walk around the house asking anyone around to smell it and tell you their thoughts. How accurate is that pesky date on the bottle? How many days post expiration is it really good for? Who knows. We throw it away just to be safe. But then we rack our brains wondering if that was a waste or not.
Can we stop all the guessing and just get some answers?!
Because of this fear, experts estimate that $165 billion worth of goods get tossed each year. And most likely, a lot of what we throw away is a waste, since the expiration dates are ... made up! The National Resource Defense Council claims that the "sell by" dates don't really indicate whether or not foods are actually safe to eat. What they're meant for is to identify when foods have reached their limits for "optimal quality."
So when should you actually dispose of certain goods? The website StillTasty gives us some tips based on complied data from sources like the USDA, the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Refrigerator: for one to two days after purchase
If cooked and the packaging is unopened: roughly three to four days
Once opened: three to four days
Frozen: 9 months
Uncooked beef, veal, pork and lamb:
After purchase: three to five days after purchase
Frozen: six to 12 months
Note: Pay attention to the "use by" date as opposed to the "sell by" date.
Good for: three to five weeks after purchase
Frozen: up to a year
Good for: one week after the "sell by" date on the package
Fresh, raw salmon:
Unopened salmon: will last one to two days from date of purchase
Frozen: (before the one to two days mentioned previously), an additional two to three months for optimal taste
Unopened red and white wine: three years and beyond
Opened red wine in the fridge: an additional three to five days after you pop the cork
Opened red wine in the freezer: will stay for another four to six months
Do you find yourself throwing out products as soon as they have expired?
Source: Science Alert
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