Sell by dates.

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Sell by dates.

Post by Scottishtourist »

Posting this in Kitchen Corner,as it relates to food!

What's peoples opinions of "sell-by"dates?
Do you agree with them?
Do you remember a time when they were not applicable to food?

Have we all become too "fussy"with regards to our food?

Most nights I visit my local supermarkets on way home from work to pick up bits and pieces.I live alone..so don't do a "big"shop now,and only buy as much as I can comfortably carry.
Two of the bigger supermarkets have a "reduced"section,where I can pick up foodstuffs for pennies,as they are nearing their "sell-by"date,
What do they do with the food they don't sell?Do they declare it unfit for human consumption and destroy it?

Best one is the major discount store "Lidl."It actually gives food away for free!
The store has a kinda one way route,but once through the checkout,there is a section with foods just about to go outwith it's sell-by date.
Last night it was packs of venison sausages,mixed salads,chestnut mushrooms,bread and cakes.

So..tomorrow,me and wee grand-daughter are having spicy sausage casserole with mushrooms,peppers and onion for tea!

I was about 13 years old before my parents had a fridge/freezer.Milk was kept in a bucket of cold water under the sink.We had a "pantry"in kitchen..a cupboard with air-holes.Eggs were bought from local farm..chipped,and covered in all sorts!
Never did any of us any harm.

Are "sell-by"dates really necessary?

What's the situation in Egypt/Luxor?Are they adhered to?
What does the typical Egyptian supermarket do with food going past it's "sell-by"date?


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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Jayway »

As I buy very little from supermarkets I only know a few things about sell by dates. A friend bought me Becel as she said I had cholesterol - hmmm. I kept it in the back if the fridge unopened, moved house, transferred it. The sell by date was 2007. I opened it this year, it looked perfect (chemical rubbish) put it out for the ants, they wouldnt touch it. Dogs and cats (who love butter) not interested, hens ignored it. The only other thing is rice, I had that for a long time in the back of the cupboard and it was very busy when I opened it, in fact some of it flew away ! :D
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Mad Dilys »

I like to grow pineapples from the tops when I've eaten them. For some years now it has been difficult if not impossible
because either the centre of the leaves is cut out or pierced with some sort of spike so that it rots.

Last month the Co-Op next door had some nice little underripe pineapples for 65p. I checked through them and just one had a healthy top, so I put it in my basket.

At the till the girl said "I'm sorry I can't sell you this! It's past it's selling date and the till won't accept it!"

In spite of my pleading, she was adamant. It would have to be refused.

Crazy. :x
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

@MD - out of curiosity.............does your produce there as in fresh pineapples, apples, pears, lettuce, kale etc etc etc carry barcodes so the clerks actually KNOW the expiry dates (of fruit??) when they run the item through the cash?

Here if I'm buying apricots as I did today I went to the section of the counter where they're kept, put what I wanted in a bag and then the clerk weighed them and charged me a couple of dollars. Each piece of fruit has a STUPID sticker on it with a code i.e. 3456 so that when the clerk put that code into the register it tells her what the item is i.e apple vs pear vs pomegranate vs cucumber but nowhere does it convey a 'best buy' date.

Actually I believe our clerks and store owners would be beside themselves with happiness if I did purchase fruit or veggies that was on its last legs and close to rotting! ;) ;)
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Mad Dilys »

Everything has either "best before", "use by" or "sell by" clearly on the product. It would seem that is linked on the till computer for stock control.

Next door often reduces things approaching the due date marked "still fresh". Hmm not quite sure about the wording there - maybe wholesome or eatable would be better?

There a website here doing big trade in stuff which is approaching or past it's best before date. The deals are excellent and it's delivered.
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Dusak »

As a kid nearly all fresh foods were kept in the panty or cellar. Never heard of any food poisonings or bad belly syndrome. Now, even with the sell by dates, plenty succumb to the Delly Belly. Never needed any of that chemical crap in them to give them longer lifespans or protect them from bugs that must of excised then but never seemed to be a problem. :tk And while we are merrily consuming these vast amounts of preservatives that the manufacturing companies insist that are needed, why do our dead bodies still turn to mush as soon as we get planted? Can't be that good of a product can they.
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Once bitten »

The law on food dates is;
"best before" just means that the food is in better condition before that date, but can be sold after that date.
"sell by" means much the same thing. The food has not gone off or deteriorated. This is normally used by supermarkets for stock control.
"use by" is the one to look out for, this one has the law on it's side and any food sold after the "use by" will incur prosecution and a fine. :!: :!:
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Brian Yare »

I was surprised to discover that food in Egypt, especially dairy products, has a date of manufacture, rather than a use-by date.
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Bullet Magnet »

I dont bother with sell by dates, if it looks and smells OK, then I eat it.
My Grandma once made us stew and dumplings, the suet she used was over 10 years old ! :cool:

Bottled water is one of those weird things with sell by dates.
They say this stuff has been filtered through volcanic and limestone rocks for thousands of years. Then as soon as they bottle it, it only lasts 3 months.. Odd eh ? :cg
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Brian Yare »

Bullet Magnet wrote:Bottled water is one of those weird things with sell by dates.
They say this stuff has been filtered through volcanic and limestone rocks for thousands of years. Then as soon as they bottle it, it only lasts 3 months.. Odd eh ? :cg
I think that this is due to the material from which they make the bottles and lids. The water itself cannot go "off". :wi :br
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Re: Sell by dates.

Post by Dusak »

Can Water Go Stale?
This may interest you Brian.

A half-empty bottle with water has been chilling in the fridge for months. There's a glass of water next to the coffee machine that's just been standing there since last weekend's nightly water run as you were stumbling around half asleep. The water looks fine. But can you drink it?


When I was a kid I was always curious if water could go stale. Sure, milk turns sour just like that, but water? What is it that could possibly turn bad? Then again, what kind of beverage doesn't go bad?


Maybe I'm one of the few who's ever asked that question, but in today's world you shouldn't take your water for granted! Though I don't like to predict the future, and certainly not get political, I am willing to bet that in the future water will be the most precious and sought-after resource on this planet.


Let's say you're cruising around in the desert, it's hot as hell and the air condition died last night. Opening the windows on your car won't help much, the heat is still too much to bear for any human being. You're mouth is getting so dry even swallowing hurts. As a bonus, traffic is stuck and you won't reach the nearest supermarket for another four hours.


But there, like a bottled goddess you see a sparkling beauty next to the passenger seat. It's been there for at least five months and you only took a few sips of it when you bought it.


Can you drink it?


Lasts forever


The answer is yes. If the water is covered and initially of high quality, it can essentially be there for a thousand years. That goes for tap water as well.


There needs to be little organic material in the water, but most tap water should meet the requirements. As long as it has been preserved in a closed bottle that does not produce toxic crap it can be there for years without causing any harm to the dehydrated finder of the bottle. Even when the bottle has been opened before you can still chug it down like a champ.


Expiration date?


This is certainly uplifting news for everyone who has a tendency to forget half-empty water bottles in their car. But if my written word is true, then why do they put expiration dates on the bottles you find in the store?


This most likely has a background from bureaucratic regulations. That, and taste. The fact that you can drink water older than your grandmother does not mean it is as delicious as it once was.


Water with a flair of oil


Water stored in plastic bottles has a tendency to get a funky taste. Even though the plastic is good enough to keep the water in, does not mean it is impermeable. There's always other smelly substances, such as what you might find in a fridge. These can actually push their way through the bottle and create a somewhat foreign flavor from what you might be expecting. If you would by chance store your water in a garage, you might even experience the taste of oil!


But, once again, if you were to stumble upon a bottle of Evain from the early Stone Age, there is nothing wrong with having a chug or two. It's still not harmful to you, but it might taste pretty bad. This might be one of the good reasons for stamping water bottles with expiration dates. A bad taste alone would be enough to ruin the good reputation of the company behind the water, and that's just bad business.


Stocking up for the end of the world?


If you were to find one of those really old bottles of water in the basement, chances are it is made out of glass. Contrary to plastic bottles, nothing can get penetrate a glass bottle leaving no weird taste at all. In other words, chances are that water found on glass bottles taste a lot better.


So if you are the kind of person that worries for everything, or maybe you are convinced the Earth is coming to an end in the near future, you might want to invest in some solid glass bottles for your H2O. You don't even need to sterilize them! Just fill the tap water in well cleaned bottles and lid them. That water's gonna outlive you no problem.


Old glass of water


So we're all cool about water in containers such as plastic or water bottles, but what's going on with containers with no lids? Can you drink from that glass of water from last weekend? Again, I'm saying yes.


It won't be Fiji water, but it's gonna be good for a few months assuming nobody contaminated the water with their dirty fingers or bacteria-infested spit. As a matter of fact, even if someone even served you a juicy portion of sneeze right in your cup, it is not certain the water would be infectious over longer amounts of time.


It turns out that very few of the bacteria that causes diseases can live in pure water. After a little while they would toss in the white towel and die mercilessly. However, with the right nutrients in the water there are some harmful bacteria that could explode. In that lovely vase of roses you got from your special someone (if you didn't get it, command it immediately. Tell him / her it's OK because you read it on a blog) you might want to re-consider cooling off with a drink. Those are the kinds of germs that could do some serious damage on your body due to the dirty water.


Harmless watercooler


Even clean water can turn bad if it is not covered. In a matter of weeks or months (depending on the environment) the water will become polluted with dust which serves as a great area for micro organisms to start hanging out. But if you clean that pitcher and refill it from the water cooler, where the liquid has been stored still, but covered for the past six months, you are safe.



Something that is not mentioned, this does not apply to plastic water bottles that have been exposed to heat and or direct sunlight. The reason being, extremely small amounts of the plastics will break down and enter your drinking water, which can indeed harm you. Plastic is unnatural, unhealthy, and can increase cancer risk when ingested. That's also why people don't use disposable water bottles for long periods of time.


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