Expiry date: I am a food technologist and I will explain to you when you have to respect it (and when not)

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Elia Tabuenca García
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There are foods that are more delicate than others in which the expiry date is particularly important, especially foods and drinks of animal origin. Let's find out how to store and use them correctly (as well as how to actually consider their expiration date) with the help of food technologist Maria Grazia Venturini



Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

We all know that when we buy packaged products we have to be very careful about the Expiration date and avoid consuming those foods after the day stamped on the package. But is this really always the case and does it apply to all foods?



First of all, it is important to clarify the two terms that we can find on food packaging, the real "expiry date" or what is called "minimum conservation term". He explains in detail the difference between the two denominations Serena Pironi, President of the Order of Food Technologists of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Marche and Umbria:

There are foods that are more delicate than others in which the expiration date is particularly important, especially the foods and drinks of animal origin. Let's find out how to store and use them correctly (as well as how to actually consider their expiration date) with the help of food technologist Maria Grazia Venturini.

Index

Yogurt

A food that many people have at home and on which there is a very precise expiration date is yogurt which, however, a few days after the date printed on the package with the words "to be consumed by" could actually still be good but only if it has always been stored correctly and has not undergone thermal changes during transport. Of course after the expiration date the presence of lactic ferments is no longer guaranteed useful for intestinal motility, a presence that pushes many people to buy and consume yogurt.

eggs

Eggs are another very delicate food, which it would always be better to buy from a trusted farmer in order to check not only the food with which the hens are fed but also the conditions in which the animals live, which must have enough space to to be able to scratch freely. In this case it will be he himself, based on when the eggs were laid, to tell you how much they can be preserved. If, on the other hand, you buy them at the supermarket, the date stamped on the package must always be looked at carefully. But not only, you also need to know how to store and consume them...



Beef

Those who eat meat know how this is a food that is easily spoiled if not well preserved and how this can potentially be dangerous for health. But is there a difference between the various types? Are there meats that should be eaten before others with the same expiration date?

Finally, Dr. Venturini gives us some useful suggestions even if we usually freeze and defrost food.

Sometimes for convenience we buy frozen foods or we buy them fresh and after having processed them a little we freeze them ourselves. We take care that freezing takes place in the correct way and we place the food in special bags or in practical containers to put in the freezer but we often underestimate instead the importance of proper defrosting. Here then mistakes not to make...

What can be consumed after the expiration date

There are foods that can be consumed even after the expiration date or rather the minimum term of conservation with tranquility, naturally verifying that they are intact and always considering whether they have been preserved correctly for all the time.

Pasta and rice

Pasta and rice are foods that can generally be consumed even a few months after the date printed on the package. The EU even plans to remove the expiration date on these products to limit food waste. Except for brown rice which instead has a shorter storage period.

Coffee

The same goes for coffee whose only drawback, if consumed after the expiration date, could be that of lose some of its fragrance and nutritional characteristics. However, even this product could soon be marketed without any date imprinted on the package if the EU goes ahead with its initiative against waste.



sugar

Both white and brown sugar can be considered products with no expiry date. The important thing is to keep them in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. Certainly if we keep the sugar in the pantry for too long it will tend to condense and form lumps but it will not lose its sweetening efficacy.

Sale

The same speech made for sugar applies to salt that can be consumed even after the expiration date since it does not lose its characteristics and it is not subject to the attack of microorganisms that can make it dangerous.

Honey

Honey also has a best before date stamped on the package, but apart from the fact that it is subject to crystallization phenomenon, that is, the fact of passing over time from the liquid to the solid stage, substantially does not lose its characteristics even after the expiration date.

Read also:

  • Expiry date: it may soon be removed from pasta and coffee. Quality at risk?
  • Nine foods "without" expiration date
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