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need advice on 'use before' date

(15 Posts)
emily05 Wed 27-Jul-05 10:12:03

sorry that this is such a boring question! lol

On this jar of pizza topping on the far left it says
'once open put in fridge and use within 2 days'

do you follow these sort of guidelines religiously? or do you think it would be ok to use if it has been in the fridge for 4 days?

QueenOfQuotes Wed 27-Jul-05 10:16:12

Well I would use it if it had been open for 4 days.

I always use my disgression with these things - the thin cut sandwich ham says "eat within 3 days" lasts us a week,

marne Wed 27-Jul-05 10:16:22

I would use it, as long as it doesnt contain any high risk foods such as egg, fish etc it should be ok for 5 days. Give it a sniff, if it looks and smells ok then i would use it.

sweetkitty Wed 27-Jul-05 10:17:01

This is a quality issue rather than a safety issue first ie once opened all sorts of yeasts and moulds start to grow and this impairs the flavour. Safety wise you could use it up to 11 days but you wouldn't want to.

As someone who's spent years deciding on use by dates for safety reasons they are not put there willy nilly but are very carefully thought out i.e. the dates are stretched to the very lsat date possible the product will taste good.

Me personally I would chuck it, sorry.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 10:18:10

I follow "use by" dates religiously, but "best before" I use my discretion on.

I'm afraid that with a jar of sauce in the fridge, I'd follow the "use within" instructions - if it says two days then I'd stick to the two days. But that's just me.

flamesparrow Wed 27-Jul-05 10:18:58

What a cool job Sweetkitty!

QueenOfQuotes Wed 27-Jul-05 10:20:42

" the dates are stretched to the very lsat date possible the product will taste good. "

lol - in that case I think some people choosing the dates (not you - as if I read your post properly you used to do this as a job) need to extend them a bit, as DH's chocolate eclairs say "eat within 2 days" - yet still taste just as good 4 days later.

I have always believed that the "best before" and "use by" dates are actually 'earlier' than the actual 'events' of being past it's best etc etc, imagine if all the food we had "suddenly" didn't taste as good on the very last day......I'd be seroiusly questioning the quality of the food!

Tetley Wed 27-Jul-05 10:21:01

I'd use it after 4 days (or even more if itdoesn't smell or look funny!). But then I was brought up scraping mould off the top of the jam before I put it on my toast

piffle Wed 27-Jul-05 10:22:06

I'd use it it it wasn't fuzzy

emily05 Wed 27-Jul-05 10:25:40

smells ok - just tomato and spices - so will use it. thanks ladies (sweetkitty - sounds like an interesting job! It would put me off food though think about the mulding process - could be good for my diet lol)

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Jul-05 10:25:41

sweetkitty, does that calculation assume that a) open food will be left out of the fridge a fair bit and b) people's fridges won't be at 5C, but instead at 6 or 7?

We tend to stretch it a bit, but it depends on the item. I refuse to believe that Rachel's yogurt is ok until the use by, whenever you open it, but Yeo Valley turns to poison 48 hours after I open it.

sweetkitty Wed 27-Jul-05 10:46:12

The dates are firstly assessed on the taste and quality of the product on the proposed shelf life then they are assessed on the safety aspect. The safety always comes first. So say for instance the safety was 11 days but after 8 days it was tasting and smelling a bit off then the shelf life would be set at 8 days, at no time is safety compromised to allow a longer shelf life. For companies the more shelf life they can have on a product the better as it prevents waste.

Any new product will have a shelf life trial which looks at the taste and quality as well as what is growing in the product, it should taste as good on day it was made as it does on the last day of life.

These trials are conducted first at 5deg then at 8deg to represent a standard fridge and are subject to a bit of temperature abuse (to mimic taking them home in teh car etc) so it's worst case.

As for my job yes sometimes it was interesting but like everything else it was mostly routine and boring.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 27-Jul-05 10:49:24

Ok, so if you're super-careful (and have a fridge at the requisite 5C), then you can afford to be a bit lax?

I'm cautious about milk, because gah, and for meat, I go by appearance, date and smell. It's goopy stuff like yogurt or mayo or whatever that throws me.

(DH is super-careful about dates, even on things like biscuits, or raw veg, which you can totally judge by appearance/smell/texture.)

QueenOfQuotes Wed 27-Jul-05 10:51:10

"The dates are firstly assessed on the taste and quality of the product"

So if we're usually 'value' or 'betta buy' shoppers, and we've got the 'proper' stuff we probably wouldn't give two hoots

However those more discerning Waitrose shoppers "It's not JUUUUUST food" may not be so content

sweetkitty Wed 27-Jul-05 11:00:59

QofQ even if you were a value shopper if you bought someone that was rancid and it had say a week of it's shelf life left you would probably take it back and ask for a refund or never buy it again. Makes no difference whether it's value or the best there is, I think.

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