Friday, May 2

Still alive

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?


Rowan said...

dunno, if its for me then I'm less likely to be worried about eating it, if its for the kids then I'm more likely to bin it rather than risk them getting food poisoning.

That said, we've got two freezers, so most stuff goes in there if its approaching its BBD with no chance of us eating it before then.

rockymtmama said...

I also do the sniff test. I have been known to eat yogurt & sour cream well past it's date (it's already sour milk, right?) as long as there's no mold. I haven't had any bad luck with tummy troubles yet with this technique, knock wood.

YowlYY said...

For me, it very much depends on the type of food...sniff test is always good, but in our household there's only limited meat and fish, and it all goes into the freezer when bought, or cooked and then frozen in portions for him. Eggs are always cooked...used for baking, boiling etc and I am not bothered if they're used until a few days after the BBD. Yoghurt and sour cream: I have the same approach of rockymtmama, and never had problems. When it comes to dry pulses, rice and pasta, I'd rather check it thoroughly for bugs instead of relying on the hasn't been the first time that a pack of pasta was said to be good for another year, but small black beetles were already in the bag...yuck!

Knit Nurse said...

hee hee, I've even been known to scrape mould off the top of yoghurt and eat the stuff below. I truly am slovenly huh!?
Yowlyy reminded me of finding a bag of chickpeas in the cupboard once (unopened and naturally WELL past the date) that must have had eggs in them when they arrived from wherever they were grown. It was very hot weather and they hatched, and I had a bag of chickpeas AND little ant things. It did kind of put me off dried chick peas...