When your carton of eggs is slightly past the expiration date, do you take it as a sign that the food is necessarily bad?
Most food scientists will admit that just because the expiration date reads a certain date doesn’t mean you should throw away those uneaten eggs—however gross it might sound. So you can bet the food industry does it’s homework before setting expiry dates for public “best before” dates, or in other words, when bacteria on the food will turn dangerous. That’s why expiry dates on food are always bumped up a few days, or even by a full week, to be safe.
That doesn’t mean consuming something like chicken isn’t dangerous a few days past the due date. The important part is to handle the meat correctly and cook it thoroughly. So if you do decide to eat that cereal past its expiration date, you’ll probably be safe. Different expired foods will have different effects and risk of bacteria.
Here are the ten foods you’ll want to be cautious of eating past the expiration date…
Consuming oysters gone wrong (not that you wouldn’t smell it first) can result in a bloodstream infection due to potentially fatal V. vulnificus bacteria.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens that develop a slimy coating and turn color are far past the due date. And if they came into contact with contaminated water or soil on the farm they will grow pathogens that will be dangerous if consumed.
Soft cheeses, like brie, are prone to bacteria growth when spoilt, i.e., listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
The most frequent cases of food poisoning occur due to eggs consumed past their expiry date when either consumed raw or not fully cooked.
Sprouts, especially alfalfa, often spoil and become contaminated with bacteria during storage if left out or not refrigerated properly. If left in warm, moist conditions sprouts will rapid produce food-borne microbes.
6. Ground Beef
Because E. coli tends to thrive in the intestines of warm blooded mammals, like cattle, bacteria will stay intact during meat processing and transfer to humans if not cooked thoroughly.
Undercooked chicken is a food poisoning and E. coli bacteria hazard if eaten raw or undercooked—even within its due date.
8. Deli Meats
E. coli bacteria is rampant in processed deli meats—particularly if not consume within days of opening the package.
Raw or frozen uncooked shrimp is often ripe with bacteria when it’s fished out of the water. That’s why vigilance when it comes to shellfish best before dates and thorough cooking practices is important.
Berries—particularly spoiled raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries with uneven surfaces—can carry Cyclospora (an illness linked to fecal bacteria) that requires antibiotic treatment to overcome.