My dinner last night was a mish mash of leftovers from the fridge, since it was thrown together after my pilates class. Despite the lack of planning, it was a rather tasty combination of a couple of strips of smoked mackerel, some pickled herrings in mustard sauce, a basic salad of lettuce, cucumber and tomato, two slices of toasted homemade date and walnut bread, and some marinated artichoke hearts.
When I was doing the washing up I noticed that the 'best before' date on the jar of artichoke hearts was ten months ago, 7 July 2007 in fact! And by my calculations, it must have been open in the fridge for at least a year! (the jar said to eat within two weeks of opening!)
Which just goes to show that
a) I am a slovenly housewife with very bad meal planning capabilities and
b) best before dates on things like artichoke hearts in olive oil are totally meaningless.
I generally ignore the supermarkets' recommendations; even on meat and fish I give them a few days' grace over the official throwaway date. Have a sniff at it and if it smells ok, it's unlikely to kill you (assuming it has been stored properly of course). I'm a bit more cautious with things like leftover rice, although this is rarely a problem since it's quite easy to measure portions!
I have actually witnessed someone throwing away eggs that were one day beyond the best before date - and throwing them away from the fridge, moreover! Am I alone in finding this shockingly wasteful?
Stoke Newington, London
1 hour ago