It’s sensible not eat food past its use-by-date

This post is related to yesterday’s, but there is a difference: use-by-dates are not the same as sell-by-dates.

As I mentioned yesterday certain items: meat, fish and (as The Mirror mentions) “pre-prepared salads are a health hazard after their date stamp”.

I do think that the Mirror’s message, which is sound, has largely been obscured by the ‘fridge’ image accompanying the article. With the possible exception of the jug of orange juice, nothing in that fridge is going to affect your health if eaten post the supermarket’s ‘display until’/’sell-by-date’. If the same produce had been purchased at a greengrocers or in a market it wouldn’t have a sell-by-date anyway.

So in future I suggest that The Mirror tries to match the message its text is trying to convey with the imagery it uses.


Eating food that’s past its sell-by-date

sell-by-dateAs readers may have noticed, many of my recipes feature food that is near or slightly past its sell-by-date. My rule is that if it hasn’t previously been walking around, flying or swimming (ie it was alive but was slaughtered etc prior to you buying it), then if it smells and tastes OK it’s probably edible (I suggest individual readers use their own judgement here and I take no responsibility for your decisions!). Please don’t apply this rule to  oysters which should actually be alive when you eat them – eating dead oysters could make you very ill!

Anyway, having set the scene, here’s an article featuring some extreme post sell-by-date consumption – six weeks in the case of yogurt (and you’ll need to scrap off the mould) – sounds like a simple case of bad fridge management to me!

Beanz Meanz you need to be careful


In 10 August the Guardian ‘Cook’ supplement ran a feature on The 10 Best Campfire Recipes this included what looks like a tasty recipe for Cowboy Baked Beans – although the time it takes to cook could mean that you don’t see much outside your chosen camp site.

Assuming that these recipes are aimed at everyone, not just experienced cooks, not including the warning that dried beans should be fast boiled for 10 minutes prior to simmering, was a rather serious omission. I contacted the people who work on the Cook supplement and got the response: “I’ll drop a line to the recipe writers to double check the methods with them, we appreciate you bringing these details to our attention.”. Sounds like the recipes are not tested – not quite the same as Good Housekeeping where “Each and every recipe is tested at least three times”.

I looked up this problem on the web, to find that NHS Choices limited its warning to red kidney beans and soya beans, but that wikihow warned about all types of uncooked beans. I always thought that the only pulses that didn’t require this treatment were lentils.

I’ll continue to fast boil all my beans for at least 10 minutes – better safe than sorry!