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    • MSE Karl
    • By MSE Karl 5th Dec 17, 4:47 PM
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    MSE Karl
    MSE Poll: Do you eat food past its ‘best before’ date?
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:47 PM
    MSE Poll: Do you eat food past its ‘best before’ date? 5th Dec 17 at 4:47 PM
    Poll started 5 December 2017

    Do you eat food past its ‘best before’ date?

    This week the East of England Co-op joined the likes of online retailer Approved Food and others in selling food beyond its 'best before' date to try to reduce waste

    When you find food at home past its best before, what do you do?


    Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

    Thanks!


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    Last edited by MSE Karl; 05-12-2017 at 5:03 PM.
Page 1
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 5th Dec 17, 6:19 PM
    • 7,414 Posts
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    jackieblack
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:19 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:19 PM
    It says 'Best Before' not 'Poisonous After'.
    Perfectly good food does not become immediately rancid on the stroke of midnight on the 'Best Before' date!
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    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 5th Dec 17, 6:26 PM
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    Nick_C
    • #3
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:26 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:26 PM
    I will often eat food food past its use by date as well. Some of the dates are ridiculously cautious.
    • Stercorum
    • By Stercorum 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
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    Stercorum
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    Marketing and sales
    • #4
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    A best before date is and probably can only be, at best, a pessimistic approximation. I personally reckon it helps sales. Am I being negative? Not really, more like realistic. You certainly know if an apple has had it and if the bacon smells iffy, it probably is. I rarely even look at the BB dates. I know when something is off or not worth eating just the way I did 60 years ago. Just because I am ageing, doesn't mean I'm stupid.
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
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    Carrot007
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    I tend to look at food stuff before deciding it is edible or not.

    I have had Veg within it's date liquify though no fault of mine, must have been stored bad before getting to me.

    Likewise it being past the date does not worry me in and of itself. Do checks like people have always done.

    BBE dates have to be cautious as it gives the consumer reason to complain if it goes bad before then.
    • LesU
    • By LesU 5th Dec 17, 7:18 PM
    • 331 Posts
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    LesU
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 17, 7:18 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Dec 17, 7:18 PM
    A best before date will not be applied to the sort of foods that go rotten quickly. It will be put on food that is subject to a gradual deterioration over time.
    How the food is kept and how it is packaged will make an enormous difference to the quality of the product. Best before is always a best guess at the food's longevity.
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 5th Dec 17, 7:27 PM
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    Bogof_Babe
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 7:27 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 7:27 PM
    I find it bemusing that you can often find bread, cakes, pastries etc., which are dated "best before" the day it is at the time, and not reduced. e.g. I could buy a loaf today that is "best before 5th December", which would imply to me that it should have been sold before midnight on 4th December.

    They should really reduce things that are on their "best before" day.
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 5th Dec 17, 10:58 PM
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    Anthorn
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:58 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 10:58 PM
    The major problem with the Eastern Co-op's actions is that it makes the selling of out of date food respectable and carries the implication that out of date food is safe for us to eat. The other implication is that we cannot complain about out of date food we buy being bad if we are told at the time of purchase that it is out of date. Whether it is safe or not depends on how it is stored. I do eat out of date food but only that which I have stored myself. I would never even think of buying it.

    What it all means of course is that less food will be donated to community projects such as food banks and that's a cause for concern.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 5th Dec 17, 11:10 PM
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    Nick_C
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:10 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:10 PM
    The major problem with the Eastern Co-op's actions is that it makes the selling of out of date food respectable and carries the implication that out of date food is safe for us to eat.. .
    Originally posted by Anthorn
    It depends which date you are talking about, and it is important to understand the difference between the two.

    Food that has just passed its best before date is usually perfectly safe to eat. But it may no longer taste as good as it did previously. Crisps, biscuits, flour, tinned goods, could all fall in this category.

    Official advice is not to eat food that has passed its use by date, as it may be harmful. Personally, I would happily eat cheese or beef after the use by date, also cured meats such as bacon and chorizo. I would probably not eat chicken or pork that was out of date but more than a day or two. I try not to throw food away though. Think of a use by date as a freeze by date.

    Of course, many people don't store food properly. I keep my fridge at 3C. The safety of food will depend on how it has been stored as well as how long it has been stored for.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 5th Dec 17, 11:42 PM
    • 7,596 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    If they abolish best before dates there will be far fewer reduced-for-quick-sale reductions.

    I haven't bought any bread that wasn't reduced-for-quick-sale in about 10 years.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 6th Dec 17, 8:34 AM
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    Bogof_Babe

    What it all means of course is that less food will be donated to community projects such as food banks and that's a cause for concern.
    Originally posted by Anthorn
    I heard on a news report about this scheme that food banks etc. won't or can't take out of date food because they are not allowed to redistribute it.
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 6th Dec 17, 8:40 AM
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    Nick_C
    I heard on a news report about this scheme that food banks etc. won't or can't take out of date food because they are not allowed to redistribute it.
    Originally posted by Bogof_Babe
    That's crazy. It's perfectly legal to sell food that has gone past the BB date. I believe there is a website that specialises in selling these items. So why can't food banks distribute them?
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 6th Dec 17, 11:35 AM
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    Bogof_Babe
    That's crazy. It's perfectly legal to sell food that has gone past the BB date. I believe there is a website that specialises in selling these items. So why can't food banks distribute them?
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    I imagine there might be an element of avoiding being sued for "making someone ill".
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 6th Dec 17, 11:37 AM
    • 4,946 Posts
    • 3,579 Thanks
    heatherw_01
    Yes, best before is just a suggestion. It is use by that you are supposed to not eat past for health reasons
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    • organazized
    • By organazized 6th Dec 17, 3:08 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    organazized
    You can eat honey 1000 years after its best before date. It never goes off
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 6th Dec 17, 11:39 PM
    • 3,282 Posts
    • 843 Thanks
    Anthorn
    If they abolish best before dates there will be far fewer reduced-for-quick-sale reductions.

    I haven't bought any bread that wasn't reduced-for-quick-sale in about 10 years.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    That's the other problem with East Of England Co-op of which I'm a member of as well as Co-op Group. Stores from both Co-ops are available in the place I live.

    At East Of England Co-op previously food which was due to pass its sell-by date the next day was marked down and I used to buy it. But now it's allowed to pass its sell by date and is then sold for 10p and those items are sold very quickly. I don't know which is better. Personally I would rather pay a marked down price for something that hasn't yet passed its sell-buy date than 10p for something that has already passed it, according to East Of England Co-op a whole month past it!
    https://www.eastofengland.coop/news/east-of-england-co-op-to-sell-products-past-‘best

    It's unclear whether the 10p food items up to a month past their sell-by date are sold to people who can afford to pay more or to people who need to pay less. I suppose it's a matter of first come first served.
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 6th Dec 17, 11:47 PM
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    • 843 Thanks
    Anthorn
    It depends which date you are talking about, and it is important to understand the difference between the two.

    Food that has just passed its best before date is usually perfectly safe to eat. But it may no longer taste as good as it did previously. Crisps, biscuits, flour, tinned goods, could all fall in this category.

    Official advice is not to eat food that has passed its use by date, as it may be harmful. Personally, I would happily eat cheese or beef after the use by date, also cured meats such as bacon and chorizo. I would probably not eat chicken or pork that was out of date but more than a day or two. I try not to throw food away though. Think of a use by date as a freeze by date.

    Of course, many people don't store food properly. I keep my fridge at 3C. The safety of food will depend on how it has been stored as well as how long it has been stored for.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    The system is not perfect. For example the bread I buy (Village Bakery Wholemeal Sliced from Aldi) has a sell-by date and perhaps most of us can agree that bread goes mouldy very quickly when it reaches that sell-by date unless we put it in the fridge. The date of bread should therefore be a use-by date. Alternatively is it the contention that mouldy bread is safe to eat?

    Personally I would say that notwithstanding the Food Standard Agency labelling standards there is in practise and in fact no difference between the sell-by date and the use-by date which are used interchangeably.
    Last edited by Anthorn; 06-12-2017 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Last paragraph added
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 10th Dec 17, 7:38 PM
    • 1,123 Posts
    • 640 Thanks
    nic_c
    I remember as a kid you would scoop the mould off the top of jam, throw it, and then use the jam from underneath .

    Some things can go off before their best before date, its all how they are stored. It's all about personal preference. When milk starts to go off I will still use it (if it is just turning) but I know others that won't.
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