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AIBU to throw out eggs past their sell-by date?

72 replies

emess · 05/05/2013 13:20

They were 5-6 weeks past their sell-by date. They belonged to PIL. MIL is unwell and housebound after a fall (and hospital stay) and has no appetite. FIL is doing his best but neither of them have eaten much for weeks. I am cooking for them when I can. We visit multiple times per day plus MIL now has carers coming in night and morning. Their ages are 85 & 89. I said it was for safety but he's annoyed with me for 'wasting' food. I'm normally happy to eat stuff that's past it's date, but eggs? For an elderly couple not in the best of health? I replaced them with fresh ones, by the way, before I threw them out so it's not like I left them with nothing to eat.

OP posts:

IneedAsockamnesty · 05/05/2013 13:22

Yanbu. But I expect they are of the generation that has limited awareness about how old food items ( especially eggs) are by the time they get to the shop shelves


wannabedomesticgoddess · 05/05/2013 13:23

1-2 weeks and I would have said YABU.

But 5-6. YANBU.


Rugbycomet · 05/05/2013 13:28

I am very wary of using eggs past their sell be date. OH was very very ill after eating an egg past its sell by date. Having said that, it could have just been the bad egg in a box!!!


StatisticallyChallenged · 05/05/2013 13:29

I eat eggs a fair bit past sell by but that would be too long for me.

For future - you can test them by putting them in water.. If they float, they are off.


burberryqueen · 05/05/2013 13:30

I am sure you did the right thing, better to waste a box of old eggs than take risks with people of that age.


emess · 05/05/2013 13:30

Socket - yes, spot on. Cue row between them about whose fault it was they they were that old (MIL unable to get to kitchen for last 6 weeks!). Thank goodness eggs have the date on them nowadays, even if it was almost illegible. Otherwise I would not have been sure myself. They were so old even I didn't want to eat them!

OP posts:

cozietoesie · 05/05/2013 13:33

Older people can sometimes be a bit reluctant to throw food out - thinking that younger people are obsessed with sell by dates and wasting money. In some instances, I think they're probably right (with many cheeses for instance) but those eggs were too old and you were entirely reasonable.

Next time, sneak the discards out without telling them and put them in your own rubbish and not theirs so that they don't notice.


SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 05/05/2013 13:34

My mum would use those eggs by cracking them one at a time into a cup and sniffing them - you can tell very quickly that way if an egg is off.

To be honest, I think we are a bit too hung up on use-by dates, and I will employ the look and sniff test on food before throwing it away - but then I grew up in the days before use-by dates, when that is what you did.


ghosteditor · 05/05/2013 13:40

I've used eggs older than that - so on that basis YABU. But in content even grotty old me agrees that it's safer to bin them Grin


Sleepingbunnies · 05/05/2013 13:43

I do the water test too! statisticallychallenged :)


georgedawes · 05/05/2013 13:43

Yeah just see if they float, if they do they've gone off. That far past their date they probably had.


cozietoesie · 05/05/2013 13:47

I think part of the issue is that there's nothing to say (if there's not much cooking being done) that the eggs may not have been there for another five or six weeks. Eggs tend just to sit there and when you're thinking of something easy to slip down an invalid's throat you grab a couple - and they might be very aged indeed by that time.

The OP would probably be advised, as she's going in a lot, to swap eggs regularly and use the discards herself as they were approaching use by. Just to be safe.


IneedAsockamnesty · 05/05/2013 13:47

Eggs that float are more than off they have been off for ages they are actually rotten.

Eggs that balence on there small tip and stand up so to speak in the water are


feetlkeblocksofice · 05/05/2013 13:49

I've just had 2 fried that were 4 weeks past sell by, I just did the water test.


Svrider · 05/05/2013 13:50

They are been ridiculous
Cost of replacement eggs £2.50 at most!
Expiry dates are there for a reason
Do you think they need more support in decision making?


cozietoesie · 05/05/2013 13:52

At their ages, Svrider, they'd likely have come through rationing. The fact of the small expense is neither here nor there - it's not a rational reaction.


hackmum · 05/05/2013 13:53

YANBU - you had their best interests at heart.

Having said that, if eggs are rotten, you can tell when you break them open. (I've never had a rotten egg.) The other risk is salmonella, but a) all hens in the UK are now vaccinated against salmonella and b) salmonella is destroyed by cooking. So I'm not actually sure what the risk of an out-of-date egg is.


NynaevesSister · 05/05/2013 13:54

I do water test too and is fine. If they leave the bottom just a bit they are on way out so do it in a glass bowl.

But in this context I would have chucked and replaced with new who knows how long they would have kept them?


VinegarDrinker · 05/05/2013 13:59

I don't go by dates, just crack them into a cup and smell them. Were they in the fridge or at room temperature?


AuntieStella · 05/05/2013 14:03

I use eggs past their dates. But I think 5 weeks is too far over.


70isaLimitNotaTarget · 05/05/2013 14:07

My dad is a demon for not wasting food (and AFAIK he's only had food poisoning once from turkey back in the early 1970s)

My mum will eat biscuits a year Out of Date.

But even they wouldn't eat 5 week eggs.


cozietoesie · 05/05/2013 14:10

Most people would simply get through eggs so the use by wouldn't be an issue. I think the problem here is the illness and lack of appetite/cooking. That's what the OP has to make allowance for.


Nelly000 · 05/05/2013 14:36

Eggs have 'best before' not 'use by' dates. I'd eat eggs 5 weeks past their date but would sniff carefully and would be more likely to use in baking i.e. cooked thoroughly than boiled eggs (which we like 'dippy')


KobayashiMaru · 05/05/2013 15:10

eggs have a much longer life than the dates stamped on them. If an egg is bad enough to make you sick, it will stink the place out as soon as you crack it.


Maggie111 · 05/05/2013 15:14

Yanbu - but apologise and sneak out and replace any OOD food from now on.

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