11 Foods That Are Unsafe to Eat After Expiration

Sometimes, eating food past its expiration date is fine. Here’s when it isn’t.

Eating food past its expiration date can sometimes be okay, but it’s important to know when it’s not. Some foods can be dangerous if consumed after they’ve expired. Here’s a guide to help you understand expiration dates and which foods to avoid

Understanding Expiration Dates
Expiration dates can be confusing because products often have several dates like “best by,” “use by,” and “sell by.” According to registered dietitian Isabel Smith, “best by” dates indicate when a product is at its best quality, not its safety. The “use by” and “expires on” dates are more critical for safety.

Foods You Should Never Eat Past Their Expiration Date

  1. Milk
    Milk that smells off, looks discolored, or has a changed texture should be discarded. Consuming spoiled milk can cause foodborne illnesses like Listeria and Salmonella.
  2. Soft Cheeses
    Soft cheeses can harbor harmful bacteria like Listeria. Mold on soft cheese is a clear sign it’s unsafe to eat.
  3. Bread
    Moldy bread should be thrown out. Mold can spread throughout the loaf, even if it’s not visible on every slice.
  4. Salad Dressing and Jarred Condiments
    These can last for a while but not forever. Once opened, they should be used within one to two months. Sealed, they can last up to four months past the “best by” date.
  5. Raw Meat
    Raw meat typically lasts one to two days for ground meat and three to five days for steaks and roasts. Freezing meat can extend its shelf life for months.
  6. Leftovers with Cooked Meat
    Cooked meat leftovers last about three to four days in the fridge. Always inspect for mold or changes in smell and texture before consuming.
  7. Deli Meat
    Deli meats can carry Listeria, even when refrigerated. Always adhere to the expiration date on the packaging.
  8. Eggs
    Eggs last three to five weeks from the packaging date. Consuming expired eggs can lead to salmonella poisoning.
  9. Pre-Packaged Salads
    Eat pre-packaged salads within days of purchase. If the lettuce is brown or slimy, throw it out.
  10. Fish and Seafood
    Fresh fish should be cooked within one to two days of purchase. Cooked fish lasts three to four days in the fridge. If fish is moldy, discolored, smelly, or slimy, discard it.
  11. Canned Foods
    While canned foods last a long time, cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen can indicate a risk of botulism.

Pay attention to expiration dates and inspect your food for changes in appearance, smell, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out to avoid foodborne illnesses. Safety first!

Source: Parade


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